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Saul Panzer

Mallard Hybrid?

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As a non-expert I would lean towards an eclipse male with some Redhead/Scaup genes, but wait for more experienced ID.

I am not sure there is a 100% pure Mallard left in NA.

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This could be an intersex Mallard. They often have odd bill coloration and plumage. Also, structure seems off for any of the aforementioned duck hybrids. 

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7 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

In that the body looks too long?

Yeah, I would expect a redhead hybrid to have a more compact body and taller, rounded head. I suppose this could be a Redhead x Mallard, although based off of photos of this hybrid it seems that such a bird should have clean gray sides and back (Redhead-like) with a brown and green head (Mallard).

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I think this is an intersex Mallard... but I think another option  is a HY drake Mallard molting into adult plumage. I don't think there is any reason to assume a hybrid is involved.

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Not looking at the bill, I see nothing in the bird that indicates hybrid. One could argue the cheeks and other parts of the head are a little too buffy and reddish but I believe if this had a normal yellow bill no one would give it a second thought and classify it as an eclipse male or if it had an orange and black bill as a female with estrogen issues. To my knowledge, estrogen deficiencies (intersex) do not cause any alteration in bill color. Every female I have seen with male plumage still has the classic orange bill with black splotch on the top.

I don't see anything in the shape or size of the bill that is inconsistent with a Mallard. I wonder if that is actually black on the left side of the bill or just a shadow. It looks a lot like the bill on a female Black duck. I think the bill is more drab than a true gray like a Redhead. So, my guess is eclipse male Mallard with the bill color caused by mutation or very distant Black duck genes. 

 

Edited by von Humboldt

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I'm with birdbrain22 about this being an odd first-year male Mallard. Bill color in these things can be a bit screwy, and nothing of the plumage looks at all odd for a male Mallard in the midst of its preformative molt.

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