7 Difference Between a Mallard and a Duck with Table

What is the difference between a mallard and a duck?

Many people are not able to tell the difference between a mallard and a duck. A mallard is a type of duck hence not easy to notice the difference between the two.

However, the two are completely different from each other. Mallards are large ducks with hefty bodies, rounded heads, and wide flat bills.

The main difference between a mallard and a duck is that a mallard is a dabbling duck while a duck is a common name for many species in the bird family Anatidae.

Difference Between a Mallard and a Duck

Comparison Table (Mallard vs Duck)

Characteristics Mallard Duck
Classification It is one type of ducks. It is a common name for many species in the bird family Anatidae.
Geographical location They are found in North American and Eurasian wetlands, parks, and ponds. They are found all over the world.
Feeding They feed by tipping their beaks forward and nibbling on underwater plants. They have various ways of feeding.
Sexual dimorphism Male and females have a different appearance. Some of the species show sexual dimorphism.
Reproduction They form pairs during spring, courtship happens during winter while pairing during autumn. Some species may form bonds that last a number of years.
Movement in water They do not dive in the water. Most of the species dive in the water.
Color They have specific colorations. They have different colors.

What is a Mallard?

Mallard is a type of duck in the family Anatidae. It is a dabbling duck. It is found in Northern America and Eurasian wetlands, parks, and ponds.

It is a sexually dimorphic species. The males appear totally different from the females. The males have bright green heads and are easily noticed. The females have a brown color but both have blue patches on their wings.

Male mallards produce a quack sound that is related to duck sound and the females are vocal. They are mostly found in wet areas.

Near the wet areas is where they feed on. They feed by tipping their beaks forward and nibbling on underwater plants and weeds. They do not dive in water like other species.

They are social birds as they are seen mingling with other domesticated species in city ponds and waterfronts. They are commonly hunted for food by humans.

During reproduction, they form pairs and the females are left the responsibility of incubating the eggs until they hatch.

What is a Duck?

Duck is a common name for the birds found in the Anatidae family. They are found all over the world. There are very many species in this family.

Some species are migratory. This may result due to drought conditions that may really not favor their stay at a place.

They produce many different sounds ranging from quack to high-pitched whistling sounds. Most male species are quiet but some species quack.

They feed in various ways. They also prey on different items which include grass and aquatic plants, fish, amphibians, worms, mollusks, and insects.

Dabbling ducks skim on the surface of water and they rarely dive. Diving and saltwater ducks find their food from deep parts of the water as they are able to dive.

Most of the duck species are monogamous. They form pairs that may last a number of years. Some species display sexual dimorphism where the males appear different from the females.

Main Differences Between A Mallard and A Duck

  1. Mallard is a dabbling duck while duck is a common name for birds in the family Anatidae.
  2. Mallards are not able to dive while some duck species are able to dive.
  3. Mallards feed by tipping their beaks forward and nibbling on underwater plants and weeds while some duck species are able to get their food from deep parts of water.
  4. Mallards are only found in North America and Eurasian wetlands, parks, and ponds while ducks are found all over the world.

Similarities Between A Mallard and A Duck

  1. They both have waterproof feathers.
  2. They both feed on the same foodstuffs.
  3. Both are monogamous.
  4. Both are sexually dimorphic.
  5. They both have different life habits.

In Conclusion

Mallards are a type of duck hence it possesses most of the ducks’ characteristics. Mallards are dabbling ducks whereby they are only able to feed on foodstuffs found on the surface of the water. They are not able to dive in water hence cannot feed on the ones found on deep parts of water.

The main feature that makes mallards and ducks different is the way they feed.

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