Unidentified duck
Unidentified duck  
Unidentified duck pic 2
Unidentified duck pic  
QUESTION: I have just moved from FL to TN and there is a duck hanging around the place I just moved and I was trying to find out what kind it is but cannot find any duck that matches it on yahoo's search engine or google's either. Can you help? Here is a couple pics of the duck in question.

ANSWER:  It's a mutt. It is a Mallard with a lot of its cousins thrown in. Mallards mate with domestic ducks, especially around city ponds and barnyards. Almost anyplace you find domesticated or semi-domesticated ducks you will find these hybrids. You won't find a picture to match because it's what some people call a Heinz 57 - like dogs are mutts, some birds are too.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ok. Thank you. One more question. Is there a way to tell if it is male or female?

It looks like it has a greenish head, so I suspect it is a male. The only way to tell for sure is pretty complicated and involves capturing the duck and turning it upside down and everting its sex organs. I don't suppose you want to get involved in that :-)


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Roger Lederer


Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.


Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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