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Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Species Code: ANPL

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only.
© NatureMapping Program

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Predicted breeding range

= Core Habitat
= Marginal Habitat


Mallard photo

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Breeding Range Map
The green area shows the predicted habitats for breeding only. The habitats were identified using 1991 satellite imagery, Breeding Bird Atlas (BBA), other datasets and experts throughout the state, as part of the Washington Gap Analysis Project. Habitats used during non-breeding months and migratory rest-stops were not mapped.

NatureMapping observations map   Map with Breeding Bird Atlas records
Observations | Historic Gap points

This species is the most widespread and common of our waterfowl and can be found in virtually any low-elevation wetland throughout the state, and many higher ones as well. In lowlands, they are conspicuous throughout both western and eastern Washington and can be found in appropriate habitat below the Mountain Hemlock zone (west side) and the Sub-alpine Fir zone (east side). They can be found at high elevations, as indicated by a confirmed breeding record from Hidden Lakes in the Pasayten Wilderness, in the Sub-alpine Fir zone, but it is a very rare occurrence. In western Washington, Mallards penetrate the thick forests only along the major river valleys, especially the Skagit River (where they breed all the way to Ross Lake). This species is very adaptable and will breed in any freshwater wetland, residential areas near water, or irrigated fields.

Good habitat in the core areas of use were all water/wetlands (including estuaries), west side agricultural fields (except orchards), east side irrigated fields (except orchards), city parks, and west side mid and low density residential areas below the Mountain Hemlock and Subalpine Fir zones.

Mallards are highly adaptable, nesting in a variety of habitats ranging from industrial waterfront facilities in large cities to remote sub-alpine lakes, and any water body in between. The presence of humans has certainly aided their increase by providing a year-round food source. Near Everett this species hybridizes with the introduced American Black Duck.

Translated from the Washington Gap Analysis Bird Volume by Uchenna Bright
Text edited by Gussie Litwer
Map by Dave Lester