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RobinHood

Black Duck - male or female?

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Southern Georgian Bay this morning.

We have one of the relatively few Black Ducks still here in the area, hanging out with a male Mallard.

I had previously identified it as a female based on what I think is an olive bill but another local birder suggested it is a male (definitely the same bird in question).

Subtle colour differences are not my strong point so it would be good to clear this up.

Thanks.

American Black Duck HVT-7229299.jpg

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Not sure but I think its a male. The bill is more yellow than green and you would expect male Mallards to be hanging out together this time of year. 

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It's really quite hard to tell because it's unclear in the pictures if the bill is in shadow or light, i.e. whether the bill is the color it appears, or if it is actually lighter. It's not much help either that ducks are molting and males will be in eclipse.

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If anyone is still interested I've added the first sighting photo (part shadow) which had me leaning towards female. Also just found and processed a more recent one (daylight) which backs up the thoughts of von Humboldt. As Benjamin says the lighting makes quite a difference.

Also agree, and possibly the best clue, that the males are typically found together now, so "male".

Thanks for the input.

 

American Black Duck f with Mallard m Mid-June HVT-7228515.jpg

American Black Duck June HVT-7229285.jpg

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