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Three Outer Banks Bird Questions

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1 - This Mallard looks a bit off - is he just transitioning?

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2 - Is this a juvenile Gannet?

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3 - Which Gull?

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1 - This Mallard looks a bit off - is he just transitioning?

If the picture was from late summer or something, perhaps. If it's a recent photo then no, it's probably a hybrid of some sort. Looks mostly mallard but that's not a normal look for this time of year.
I'll let someone else get the others. Second one looks gannet-ish but I think there are other birds, some of the boobies I believe, that might looks similar in flight and I don't know them well or feel like pulling out my field guide to compare at the moment...  still waking up. HA.

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58 minutes ago, Phalarope713 said:

1. Male Mallard x American Black Duck with what appears to be a pure American Black Duck (front right).

I thought the one on the right was an american black duck... and considered that particular hybrid possibility because of it... but, I don't know what I'd be looking for to point to that. The mallard part is obvious in that bird but what do you see that pinpoints it's crossed with american black duck? Just curious?
I saw a mallard x cinnamon teal once that was pretty easy to distinguish... teal size, male cinnamon teal color body, and a green head. Some hybrids aren't so kind with clues, or I'm just not good at picking them up... or, both. :)

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9 minutes ago, millipede said:

I thought the one on the right was an american black duck... and considered that particular hybrid possibility because of it... but, I don't know what I'd be looking for to point to that. The mallard part is obvious in that bird but what do you see that pinpoints it's crossed with american black duck? Just curious?
I saw a mallard x cinnamon teal once that was pretty easy to distinguish... teal size, male cinnamon teal color body, and a green head. Some hybrids aren't so kind with clues, or I'm just not good at picking them up... or, both. 🙂

The American Black Duck looks pure because of the very dark body plumage, dusky olive bill, and solid dark brown tail and undertail coverts. A hybrid would have noticeable white in the tail, and would probably show curved tail feathers.

The primary feature that points to the leftmost bird being a hybrid is the broad green stripe on the top of the head and the pale tan lower half (ie. bimaculated head pattern). Also, the bird lacks the white neck ring of a male Mallard and the sides have a brownish wash, rather than being gray.

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1 - goofy Mallard -- I don't really see any American Black Duck in the bird

2 - immature Northern Gannet (certainly not a juvenile)

3 - Lesser Black-backed

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16 minutes ago, Phalarope713 said:

The primary feature that points to the leftmost bird being a hybrid is

I wasn't questioning how to tell it was a hybrid, just how a person could tell what kind of hybrid. As I said, some birds show enough ID marks that you can pick out more than one species. This one I can tell is mallard x something but I don't see anything to say what that something is.
Some birds don't show their lineage very well... and some traits could be there that I simply couldn't pick up, which is why I question things... so if there IS something there to see, I might learn to see it. :)

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On 2/5/2020 at 12:29 PM, Tony Leukering said:

goofy Mallard

This should definitely be a sub-species in eBird, I would be using it a lot.

(Sorry about the slow response, fighting off this bug that is doing the rounds, yesterday was not a fun day).

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