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Well that's interesting, thank you! It was the only one out of hundreds of mallards that had a white patch. Forgive me if these are dumb questions, but how is a domestic mallard different from a wild one and why would it have different plumage, isn't it the same species? Does the variation arise because of domestication, and does this occur with other domesticated ducks/birds?

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1 hour ago, jcarscadden said:

and I have another question...I am not disputing the ID...far from it.  But how does one determine this..what field marks should I look for

Often domestics simply don't look like any of the native species, they might have irregular patterns or patches of color.  Still has the general body structure of a wild Mallard though. 

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14 hours ago, IvoryBillHope said:

Still has the general body structure of a wild Mallard though.

yeah, that kind of has me thinking it's a domestic x wild but I sure couldn't say for sure.

 

20 hours ago, southisland said:

but how is a domestic mallard different from a wild one and why would it have different plumage

not a dumb question. It's been answered but, to expand a little... it's like chickens(as one mentioned) or even dogs. With the use of "domestic _____" it's kind of like saying domestic wolf when looking at a poodle. It really is no different. Their ancestors are wild mallards but in the poultry world, they're "breeds."  A lot of them you find out in the wild are mutts rather than pure breeds but you'll find all sorts. The white on the front there is common with the swedish breed. This is not a pure swedish, which is why I kind of wonder if it's a swedish x wild mallard. But that's just speculation.

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