Birds from your window. Mallard.

Not everyone has a window that looks over a river or an ornamental duck pond or a pristine Buckinghamshire boating lake, so why am I pretending that you can see a mallard from your window, eh? Well, because they can fly, you melon.

Though, let’s face it, you probably already know what a male mallard looks like. “Green head, likes bread, a laugh like Sid James,” as Philip Larkin said. Actually, he didn’t say that (but you wondered there for a millisecond, didn’t you, what with head and bread rhyming and everything). Unlike the males, female mallards (and female ducks generally) are mostly brown. This is largely because it is easier to blend into your surroundings when sitting on a nest if you don’t look like Farrow & Ball colour swatch. Usually, the easiest way to tell what species of duck a female duck is, is to look at the male duck next to it. If they are unaccompanied you have to apply slightly more advanced id skills. ID skills that you are not ready for yet. Don’t try to run before you can walk. Accept your limitations.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

  • Green head
  • Likes bread
  • Laugh like Sid James
  • Body bigger than in the drawing…
  • …it’s a caricature, innit pal.