This Duck is Not in the Peterson Guide: April 2021

Even though we are already one month into spring, a considerable amount of snow fell overnight. This is how it looked at Lynde Shores near Whitby:

Willow (Salix)
Red Ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica)
Willow (Salix)
Willow (Salix)

Other photos:

White-tailed Deer

In with the Mallards here, I spotted this unusual duck:

Mallard X Pintail

As it was associated with Mallards and being about the same size, I assume that it is a Mallard hybrid.

Mallard X Pintail

Mallards frequently interbreed with domesticated species, American Black Ducks and Pintails, leading to various hybrids.

I see the Black Duck hybrid “bib duck” frequently.

hybrid “bib” duck

Today’s duck was quite different.

Mallard X Pintail

When I first saw it, I momentarily thought it was a male Pintail.

photo: US Geological Survey

With some imagination, I think that you can see traits from both parents.

Mallard X Pintail
Mallard X Pintail
Mallard X Pintail

MYSTERY BIRD

At the conclusion of the post, I will identify it.

Other birds:

Lesser Yellowlegs
American Black Duck (female)
Canada Geese
Song Sparrow
Common Grackle
Downy Woodpecker (female)
Common Grackle
Northern Cardinal (male)
Brown-headed Cowbird (female)
Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
Brown-headed Cowbird (male)
Mourning Dove
Turkey Vulture
Mute Swan
Canada Goose
Canada Geese
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Black-capped Chickadee

MYSTERY BIRD

The unmarked grayish head and small pink bill identify this as a Dark-eyed Junco. Males are darker in colour so this is a female.

Dark-eyed Junco (female)

MAILBOX

They do their best work upside-down, don’t they? 😊

NATURE POETRY

From troubles of the world
I turn to ducks,
Beautiful comical things
Sleeping or curled
Their heads beneath white wings
By water cool,
Or finding curious things
To eat in various mucks
Beneath the pool. – F. W. Harvey

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “This Duck is Not in the Peterson Guide: April 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Sure, but what about the REAL mystery, that first odd (in a nice way) looking duck? So I guess you concluded it was a Pintail-Mallard hybrid. It looked like a Mallard mixed with a Goose, to my ignorant eyes (joking). What a beautifully interesting looking creature! And the snowfall? I walked in a winter wonderland with my dog. Life can be very strange. Nice line-up of birds and ducks! Thanks, Miles!

    Reply

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