The Mallard, known in North America as the Wild Duck, is a common and widespread duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe and Asia. It also frequents Central America and the Caribbean, and has been introduced into Australia and New Zealand. It is now the most common duck in New Zealand. It is probably the best-known of all ducks. This duck is 56-65 cm length, with an 81-98 cm wingspan, and weighs 750-1000 g.
It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks. They are exceptionally fast flyers for their size, reaching speeds of 40 mph. The breeding male is unmistakable, with a green head, black rear end and a blue speculum edged with white, obvious in flight or at rest. Males also possess a yellow bill with a black tip, whereas females have a dark brown bill. The female Mallard is light brown, with plumage much like most female ducks. It can be distinguished from other ducks, by the distinctive markings. In non-breeding plumage, the drake looks more like the female.