The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos, probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks, is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, (where it is currently the most common duck species). It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south. For example, in North America it winters south to Mexico, between September and May.
The Mallard is 56–65 cm long, has a wingspan of 81–98 cm, and weighs 0.9–1.2 kg. The breeding male is unmistakable, with a green head, black rear end and a yellowish orange (can also contain some red) bill tipped with black (as opposed to the dark brown bill in females). The female Mallard is light brown, like most female dabbling ducks. However, both the female and male Mallards have distinct purple speculum edged with white, prominent in flight or at rest (though temporarily shedded during the annual summer molt). In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage the drake becomes drab, looking more like the female, but still distinguishable by its yellow bill and reddish breast.
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The Wood Duck or Carolina Duck is a medium-sized perching duck. A typical adult is about 48 cm (19 in) in length with an average wingspan of 73 cm (29 in). This is about three-quarters of the length of an adult Mallard. The adult male has distinctive multi-colored iridescent plumage and red eyes. The female, less colorful, has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. Both adults have crested heads. When swimming, wood ducks bob their head back and forth in a jerking motion, which makes them easy to spot. Their breeding habitat is wooded swamps, shallow lakes, marshes or ponds in eastern North America, the west coast of the United States and western Mexico. They usually nest in cavities in trees close to water, although they will take advantage of nesting boxes in wetland locations if available