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Two ducks from San Francisco Bay Area

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Hi - 

I'm new to birding and was hoping to get some help in identifying these two ducks.  Both photos were taken today in the Palo Alto Bay Lands, about 35 miles south of San Francisco on San Francisco Bay. Any suggestion as to what they might be would be very much appreciated.  Thanks!


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@cam, welcome to Whatbird!

Since you're new to birding, let me expand on what Pigeon said.  Domestic mallards are ducks that were originally bred as livestock from the 'true' wild Mallard species.  Think of them as similar to how domestic dogs have been bred from wolves.  Like dogs, domestic mallards come in a variety of breeds that don't look like each other (or their wolf ancestors).  And like dogs, domestics are often found outside of farms or households.

Muscovy are the other most commonly seen domestic ducks.  There are also domestic pigeons bred from wild ones for racing,  food, etc.  With a few exceptions, domestic ducks and pigeons aren't considered 'countable'.  Oddly, In the 2.5 years I've been here, I don't recall seening an ID request regarding domestic chickens.


Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Thanks everyone for the explanation of what I saw! I never occurred to me that domesticated birds escape and do well living in the wild. I guess it would be a little surprising if they didn't though.




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