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Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck?

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Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck?
When this duck was falling to the water I thought quite likely it was a hen mallard (in that posture its breast feathers were quite prominent).

Was I completely mistaken?

It is a hen, and it seems to me that the black ducks I usually get seem to have much darker breast feathers.

Didn't matter in any case because it was the only bird we hit, but I enjoy learning more about the ducks, so any input is appreciated.

Thanks.

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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
Looks like a hybrid black/mallard to me. The bill looks olive.
South Jersey
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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
what did the speculum look like?

when we are trying to determine mottled/mallard hybrids we take a look at the speculum as well. we still almost always count it as a mottled duck unless the mallard in it is super obvious. Not worth fighting a game warden over.
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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
Where are you, Steve?

We see a lot of mallard/black hybrids on the salt in Maine's late season, and after several parking lot conversations with game wardens explaining what they were trained to look for and how they'd score our birds, I'm convinced that a lot of birds we classify as black ducks are actually hybrids. Most hybrids seem to show some sign of two white bars on the speculum. With the increase in black duck limit to 2 birds and the decrease in hen mallards to one, our conservative assessment to stay on the right side of the law has changed. In the old days I might have called that my one black duck. Today I'd be more likely to count it as a hen mallard. In both cases, being conservative. This publication is informative, but I've tried to score my suspected hybrids with it and mostly confused myself.

https://pubs.usgs.gov/...2000/0002/report.pdf

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
Dani,

I recall the speculum as having been all blue, but then I looked at this picture of the duck's other side, and now I see a block of white on the left wing. Not sure what that is.

Jeff, I'm in Rhode Island, and thanks very much for sharing that report



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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
The white you see on the wing is the underside of the wing just showing a little, and that would be normal for a black duck. An olive bill is also what you'll find on an immature black duck.There is also sometimes a very faint white line under the speculum on black ducks, but never two. It looks like a young black duck to me, but it could also be a hybrid, the photo's aren't really able to show any of the certain markings that tip you off either way.
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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
no mallard evident.
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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
Good morning, Steve~


I concur with Greg and Tod - a young-of-the-year Hen Black Duck.


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
At first glance I was thinking mottled duck, but just a little far north.
"When those birds stool".....takem!
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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
I was going to make the same comment!


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
Thanks so much for all the responses.

The depth and breadth of waterfowling knowledge (and the the generosity evident in folks' so freely and, apparently happily, sharing it) are amazing.
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Re: Any Mallard Evident in this Black Duck? In reply to
Mottled would not have the olive bill, it has more of a drake mallard colored bill, with a dark hen mallard, or light Blackduck body coloring, with distinct tobacco lips.

Dave Diefenderfer
Manassas, VA

"Once you set out to build a boat, throw away your square. And if you work on her after she's launched, throw away your level." author unknown