I was one such person, new to "the field", who was utterly bamboozled by a
mystery duck at Swanbank Lagoon, near Ipswich, QLd. After carefully
sketching it, I visited Greg Czechura at Qld Museum, who kindly identified
it as a probable mallard-muscovy hybrid.
The inclusion in field guides of a section on feral domestic birds could
serve a valuable educational purpose, in that any inexperienced person
consulting a guide might lear to be less that charmed by the presence of
domestic hybrid waterfowl in parklands, lakes etc. How many people,
especially those with young children, must enthuse about, and ecourage the
continued presence of these birds by feeding them, thinking they are
In a similar vein, it annoys me intensely, whenever I see the TV
advertisement for a particular residential development that is promoted as
close to nature ec., that the main image used is of a family of mallards.
From: Tim Dolby <>
Date: Thursday, 14 September 2000 12:44
Subject: Ferals on Oz list
<<snip>>To include information on domestic 'field' birds would only take an
additional page or two and reference could be made to the fact that they are
unable to "establish themself and breed regularly as wild birds and
reproduce within the new habitat."
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