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Scientific name: Anas platyrhynchos

Because of its abundance and near-total occupation of North America, the Mallard is often considered the standard duck against which all other are compared. Most domestic duck strains are derived from Mallards, and interbreeding with these strains results in feral populations inhabiting urban and rural ponds in many places.

Mallards go through a number of courtship rituals when pairing up in winter for the coming nesting season, but once nesting is over, they are quite gregarious for the remainder of the year. More than a half-dozen other species of ducks have been known to lay eggs in Mallard nests.