Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Riparian and Water Birds >>> Mallard


Anas platyrhynchos

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photo taken on the Grand Canal in Phoenix, AZ Jan. 2003

Ducks in the Sonoran Desert? Oh, yes! City Parks and golf courses rife with lush lawns and ponds attract migrating ducks throughout the winter months. Mallards can be found year round and breed regularly along canals and at the urban fish ponds. They will also be seen along rivers and streams where there are pools or man-made reservoirs.

This duck species has been domesticated and mostly the captive breeds are white. People then release these white breeds back to the wild - possibly after being kept as pets. Subsequent interbreeding with the wild-type mallards then results in mixed individuals with part white and part typical mallard plumage. These released birds and their offspring tend to occur only in the city park ponds and remain there year round.

Year-round Resident - most migrate north for summer

Sponsored Links:

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009