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Birding Málaga


Common name Mallard
Scientific name Anas platyrhynchos
Type Waterbirds
Status Resident

Medium-sized bird (approx 60 cm or 23.5 in). It is the most frequent duck in the province. Strong sexual dimorphism. Males have a metallic green head and neck, a narrow white ring on the neck and a brown breast. Tail with curly, short feathers. Black anal area. Yellow bill with a small black spot on the end and orange legs. Brown upperparts, grey underparts and white and black anal area. Females are not very showy, with a mottled brown plumage. Both sexes have a metallic violet-blue speculum.



Where it lives

Generalist bird, frequent in all types of wetlands, whether marshes, lagoons, pools, ponds of parks and gardens, flooded meadows, reservoirs, ditches or rivers. It prefers areas with shallow water.

How it lives

Species resident all year round in Malaga. The mating season starts in February. Nest out of the water, among the marsh vegetation. One annual laying of 7 to 13 eggs. Very varied diet, usually roots of aquatic plants, but also worms, mollusks, small fish and insects. Also seeds in grassland out of water. It is a dabbling duck, which means that it only submerges its head to look for food. That is why it uses shallow water.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

It can be watched in almost all the bodies of fresh water that converge or flow into the Coastal Path. Also in the Fuente de Piedra or Campillos lagoons, the Mouth of the Guadalhorce River; the Guadalhorce, Agujero, Viñuela and La Concepción reservoirs and in small weirs along the entire coast.

Curious facts

The speculum is a strip of bright colour that ducks have on the wings and is usually very visible in flight. They use it to identify specimens of the same species from a long distance. It is also a "lure" employed to deceitfully attract someone, in this case females during courtship, which is very flamboyant in the case of mallards.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration