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Old 08-16-2012, 09:29 PM
 
42 posts, read 214,552 times
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I find it impossible to tell the difference between a female mallard and a mottled duck so I was hoping someone else could. These pics were taken in West Palm Beach, FL a few days ago.

Is this a male mottled/mallard hybrid?
http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/...k/SANY0042.jpg

I took 46 pics. Here's the entire gallery
Duck pictures by Soutcha - Photobucket
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:11 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,711,255 times
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well isnt he an odd one.
the picures of the others could definatly be mottled...
but that male (and its definatly a male) is very odd, generally even in mottled x mallards the males will retain the "lacing" on their bodies...
judging by the beak color and the "eye line" id say theres definatly mottled in there....
and form the black tail section and drake curl, definatly mallard...the body color is ery smilar to a mallard so mabe a multi gen?
mabe origionally a mallard x mottled which then bred to a mallard so that mallard coloration is becomming more prominent? which is unsual because usually that green head hits before the body colration hits in terms of genetics...

id say mottled x mallard but multi-gen mix, hes definalty not 50/50.

the easiest way to tell female mallards from female mottleds is to see them side by side (mallard being lighter) or to see the legs, mottleds have a much more Orange tone to thier legs!
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Old 08-28-2012, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
8,309 posts, read 34,294,615 times
Reputation: 7073
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLAkid View Post
I find it impossible to tell the difference between a female mallard and a mottled duck so I was hoping someone else could. These pics were taken in West Palm Beach, FL a few days ago.

Is this a male mottled/mallard hybrid?
http://i1089.photobucket.com/albums/...k/SANY0042.jpg

I took 46 pics. Here's the entire gallery
Duck pictures by Soutcha - Photobucket
That's definitely not a full blood mottled duck. Mottle ducks don't get the curl feathers unless they've interbred with mallards. Further confusing the issue, I think that many of the ducks in your gallery are phenotypically grey ducks.

My best guess is that he's a first-year bird of predominantly mallard descent and it isn't impossible that he's an immature full-blood mallard (see how his head is greening up?).

The hybridization process that you're witnessing at that pond is actually threatening a few species with "extinction by absorption". Mallards interbreed with other species, then the offspring are mated by mallards again and genetic reservoirs of, for example, mottled ducks get slowly folded into the mallard pool.

Last edited by jimboburnsy; 08-28-2012 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 08-28-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: San Diego
189 posts, read 866,912 times
Reputation: 77
Most of the ducks in your photos appear to be male mallards transitioning out of their "eclipse" plumage to their breeding plumage. Ducks molt twice a year, once in the spring right after most of the breeding has ended where they molt all their body feathers. Males will become mostly brown. Near the end of summer or in early fall, ducks will molt a second time and will molt all their feathers, including their wing feathers. At this time, males will regain their green heads and gray bodies.

Female mallards stay brown all the time. Their colors can vary from dark to light. All mallards have orange legs, but males often have yellow or green bills and females have orange bills with some blue.
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