Anas platyrhynchos   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Birds and birding in India.

Size: length c. 61 cm

Color: Darke largely grey above and below, finely pencilled and vermiculated with black. Glistening dark green head and neck separated from chestnut breast by narrow white collar. Rump, tail-coverts, and two upcurled central tail feathers black. Metallic purplish blue 'mirror, on wing bordered in front and behind by black and white lines, conspicuous in flight. Yellowish green bill, orange legs. Duck (and darke in eclipse plumage): brown and buff, streaked and spotted with black. Orange legs. Distinguished also orange-legged, by bill shape and purple speculum (as against green).

Habits: A typical surface-feeding or dabbling duck, the ancestor of all our domestic breeds, largely vegetarian. Dabbles for food as it walks about on a marsh, or tips ('up-end') in water with forepart of body submerged, tail sticking comically skyward. A fast flier.

Nesting: Season- in Kashmir, May/June. Nest- a pad of rushes and weeds thickly lined with down, under a bush or grass clump near edge of lake. Eggs- 6 to 10, greenish grey to yellowish tone.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Mallard (English)
• Nil-sir (Hindi)
• Nil-rugi (Hindi)
• Lilgeh (Hindi)
• Chaturang badak (Marathi)
• Neelsir, Nilshir, (Gujarati)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Game bird: Excellent for the table, and much sought after by spotsmen.)
Threats:  Natural threats, Anthropogenic
(The species is threatened by wetland habitat degradation and loss from pollution(e.g. petroleum and pesticide pollution). It is also susceptible to duck virus enteritis (DVE), avian influenza and avian botulism so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases. The species is hunted throughout the world mainly for sport, but also for commercial use (food). The eggs of this species were (and possibly still are) harvested in Iceland.)

Habitat:  Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Chiefly vegetarian also molluscs, tadpoles, fish spawn, worms, etc.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Maharashtra, Mumbai INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Birding in India and South Asia Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1968) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 1 1-368pp Available at - NIO
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-08-22

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