Mallards, because of their trusting nature, are found in urban environments all over the world.
Males are recognized by their uncrested glossy-green head and white neck ring.
Females are mottled brown with a whitish tail, a bill patched with orange and orange feet.
Mallards hybridize with Black Ducks, Pintails and domestic ducks. These “bib” ducks are seen frequently around Toronto.
AMERICAN BLACK DUCK
The American Black Duck is sooty brown with a paler head and metallic violet wing patch.
Males have a greenish-yellow bill.
Females have a dark-olive bill.
The male Gadwall is a gray duck with a black rump and a white patch on the rear edge of the wing.
The female is a mottled brown with a white wing patch, yellow feet and yellow on the bill.
The male Pintail is a slender slim-necked, white-breasted duck with a needle-pointed tail.
The female is mottled brown with a rather pointed tail, slender neck and gray bill.
Here is a Mallard – Pintail hybrid.
The American Wigeon sits higher on the water than other ducks.
The male has a shining white crown and a gray head with deep green patch.
The female is brown with a gray head and neck and a dark smudge around the eye.
The male Wood Duck is certainly one of the most beautiful creatures on earth.
Males have a highly ornate face pattern, swept back crest and rainbow iridescence.
Females are dull-coloured with a dark crested head and a white eye patch.
Northern Shovelers are small ducks with spoon-shaped bills.
The male has much black and white with a rufous side.
The female is brown with a big bill.
The male Green-winged Teal is a small compact gray duck with a brown head and a green head patch.
The female is a small speckled duck with a green wing patch.
There was considerable excitement among Toronto birders when a European Teal appeared in January 2021and associated with 3 North American Green-wings.
The Blue-winged Teal is about half the size of a Mallard.
The male has a white facial crescent and large chalky blue patch on the forewing.
The female is brown and mottled.
The Pekin is an American breed of domestic duck, raised primarily for meat. It is a mallard derived from birds brought to the United States from China in the nineteenth century, and is now bred in many parts of the world.
They occasionally escape and can be seen in local marshes.
While working as a naturalist on cruise ships in the Antarctic region, I came across a species of duck which eats meat and made this post.
A Carniverous Duck: the Yellow-billed Pintail | Miles Hearn
We talked about the heavy load of walnuts and pinecones this year so I thought this may interest you:
In May-time, when the lilac-plumes
Droop from the branch their purple blooms;
When chestnuts clap their leafy hands,
And every bud with joy expands;
When in the moist, sequester’d nooks
Of woods is heard the call of brooks,
The wood-duck builds its downy nest
Secure from prowling schoolboy’s quest. -McClellan
What a wonderful, fascinating guide! You could give an online course in bird identification! I’m sure there would be interest in this, given all the bird watching which has become so popular during the pandemic. Ducks that have developed a taste for seal meat. Who knew? And a thank you also to Eddie for the wonderful Owl and Hawk photos. Thanks, Miles!
I agree with Lisa. I learn a lot from your posts. Thanks Miles.
one of the most informative posts,thanks Miles.so many beautiful ducks!!!! Yes,very informative,I too learned so much from your posts!!!! many thanks…..Rosemarie
Thank you Miles! That guide you provided has helped immensely!
I learned so mush from this post and the others. Ducks are easier for me to spot and observe. The marvellous detailed pictures seem to bring out the personalities of the birds. Thank you. Loretta Guran
Great photos Miles. I appreciate the identification information you have included with the photos.