There are two distinct populations duck identification guide pdf mottled ducks. Along the Gulf of Mexico coast, the mottled duck is one of the most frequently banded waterfowl. This is due in part to the fact that it is mostly non-migratory.
Approximately one out of every twenty mottled ducks is banded, making it an extremely prized and sought after bird among hunters. It has a dark body, lighter head and neck, orange legs and dark eyes. Males and females are similar, but the male’s bill is bright yellow, whereas the female’s is deep to pale orange, occasionally lined with black splotches around the edges and near the base. The plumage is darker than in female mallards, especially at the tail, and the bill is yellower. In flight, the lack of a white border to the speculum is a key difference.
The behaviour and voice are the same as the mallard. Mottled ducks feed by dabbling in shallow water, and grazing on land. They mainly eat plants, but also some mollusks and aquatic insects. The breeding habitat is coastal marshes. The nest is built on the ground amongst vegetation, such as bull-rush and marsh grass. American black ducks are often only reliably separable by their dark purple speculum from mottled ducks in the field.
American black ducks, being far more distantly related to the mallard, and that the subspecies, as a consequence of their rather limited range and sedentary habits, are genetically well distinct already. American black duck and the mallard. Genetic tools have been developed in order to robustly classify hybrids and to assess and monitor the genetic dynamics of introgression between the Florida Mottled duck and the mallard. Florida duck to decline to a point where hunting would have to be restricted or prohibited.
At present, these birds too appear to be holding their own with a population of 50,000-70,000 individuals. Latin for “the mottled one”. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Florida duck or the mallard?