Rouen (Mallard) duck (Anas platyrhynchos)
Bernie is the star of our summer stage show! His favorite treat is meal worms and he has a huge personality. He came from a farm and was raised as a baby by one of our Education Department staff members.
Status in the wild
No special status. Mallards are the most abundant and widespread of all waterfowl; every year millions are harvested by hunters with little effect on their numbers. The greatest threat to mallards is loss of habitat, but they readily adapt to human disturbances.
The mallard can be found in most of the United States and Canada, wintering throughout the United States and south to Central America and the West Indies. Naturally, mallards are also found in Europe, Asia and Africa and as an introduced species in Australia and New Zealand. They prefer habitats in shallow inland waterways as well as ponds, rivers, marshes, wooded swamps and lakes for feeding, nesting and socializing.
Most of the mallard's diet is made up of plants. It eats the seeds of grasses and sedges and the leaves, stems and seeds of aquatic plants. It occasionally eats insects, crustaceans and mollusks. Sometimes the mallard forages on farmland, eating grains like corn, rice, wheat, oats and barley.
- Mallards are exceptionally fast fliers for their size, reaching speeds up to 40 miles per hour!
- This species is a heavyweight breed of domesticated duck raised for decorative purposes.
- Mallards were first bred and raised in France.
- Males and females look different, with males exhibiting more colors to attract females.