This is what everyone means by duck - Donald is one (we know because of the front curl to the uppertail coverts). Most domestic ducks are specially bred Mallard and they therefore are able to back cross - hence many areas have very peculiar hybrids.
This is a very successful bird and so adaptable that they even breed in the window boxes of high rise buildings. The ducklings jump out and are escorted by their mother (and the city police) to water for rearing. This is a chunky and rather large dabbling duck with brown speckled duck and a handsome drake. His head is green with a narrow white collar, dark purple-brown back and breast and nice grey sides and wing coverts. The speculum is blueish and the bill duckish.
Many are sedentary but Northern birds migrate to the south. Breeds all round Europe, Northern Asia and Northern North America. Success of the bird related to its economic value as the most frequent quarry species for wildfowlers. British and Irish breeding population about 125,000 pairs.
The common duck.
Length 580 mm Closed wing 275 mm Weight 1100 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead