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The mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) or wild duck is a dabbling duck. With a long body and a long and broad bill, the male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mainly brown with an orange bill. Though they will pair up in the autumn, the drake only remains with his partner until she starts incubating, and has nothing to do with rearing the ducklings. Only the female, or duck, makes the familiar quacking. The drake’s call is a much softer and quieter note. The expression “water off a duck’s back” is a reminder of the waterproof qualities of the feathers. They are kept waterproof by regular applications of oil from the preen gland. Scoring a duck in cricket reflects the fact that the 0 on the score sheet resembles the shape of a duck’s egg.
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