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The species of April 2013

2014.04_Anas platyrhynchosName: Mallard
Scientific name:
Anas platyrhynchos

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Genus: Anas


The Mallard duck is the most common duck and wild ancestor of the duck pet. The color of the male differs from that of the female. The male is characterized by its shiny green head. It has a narrow white collar, with a yellow-green beak and the rest of its body is gray-brown. Its tail is white and its legs are orange. The female is brown-blonde with dark shades all over the body. It is one of the largest and heaviest ducks in Europe.

The Mallard duck is a frequent visitor to the island, especially during the winter months. It is found in a wide range of ecosystems such as wetlands with fresh or salt water, lakes, rivers, parks and more. Large populations of green-headed duck are found in the Despotic Lake.

Ecology – Behavior
It is an omnivorous animal and feeds on worms, fish, insects, frogs, aquatic plants and more. It lives in wetlands, nesting in reeds. This species is characterized as “foam duck” since to feed it uses its beak without diving into the water. In favorable weather conditions, couples remain in wetlands reproducing their species. It lays 9-12 eggs which take 22-26 days to hatch.

[1] Πουλιά της Κύπρου, του Λουκά Χριστοφόρου, AFIAP, 1998
[2] http://www.edessacity.gr/tourism/pella/wetland/ed801-2-birds8_el.htm
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mallard

Image source:

© Richard Bartz

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