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I saw this duck in Newport News Park in Newport News, Virginia. It looks different than the other male mallards I have to seen. Someone told me they thought it could be a hybrid duck. I am new to birding so this is way above my knowledge level. Does anyone have any ideas as to why it looks different?


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13 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

This is a male Mallard molting into nonbreeding plumage.  In the summer, the males lose their colorful feathers and end up looking similar to a female.


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8 hours ago, ronvan3 said:

Someone told me they thought it could be a hybrid duck.

I agree with the others that your bird is a male Mallard.

FYI, hybrids are birds that are a cross between two different species.  This is very common with ducks in areas where they overlap, although they aren't the only birds that 'cross-breed'.  In conversation, hybrids are indicated by an 'X' between the suspected species names, like 'Mallard x Mottled Duck'.

You may also see the term 'Domestic'.  This indicates the bird comes from a lineage has been domesticated and bred for specific genetic traits.  This is common with ducks, chickens, pigeons.  Just as wolves have been bred by humans over millennia into Great Danes and Dachshunds, many birds have been bred for agricultural, sporting, or exhibition purposes.  

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