Re: FW: [canberrabirds] Re: Information & ID of a Duck?

To: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Subject: Re: FW: [canberrabirds] Re: Information & ID of a Duck?
From: Michael Lenz <>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2018 05:50:47 +0000
At least at West Belconnen Pond I have never seen a potential pairing of Mallard stock with Black Duck, although they come regularly in very close contact with each other at the western end where both species/forms hang out together waiting for people to feed them.

Michael Lenz

On 12 May 2018 at 11:29, Geoffrey Dabb <> wrote:

John.  My point relates to the uncertainty that the domestic varieties I have mentioned could breed with wild birds here.  It would be good to be able to take that further.  However NZ is not a good parallel.  What happened there was a quite different process.  See below summary from Long, Introduced Birds of the World.  Deliberate liberation of wild strains in large numbers.




This conclusion surprises me a little, although I freely admit my lack of expertise. I don’t see why  an  domestic duck,  if cohabiting with the PBDs,  wouldn’t  eventually mate with one. Isn’t new Zealand a perfect example of mallards mating with PBD (‘Grey’) Ducks and their mallard genes infiltrating the whole PBD gene pool? I am very happy to be made better informed on this!



From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Saturday, 12 May 2018 at 9:11 am
To: Alison <>, chatline <m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">>
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Re: Information & ID of a Duck?


Thanks Alison.  I’m guessing you had trouble getting that to the chatline for size reasons.  Good point and worth resending with one less pic I think.


As I understand it, nearly all domestic ducks, the Muscovy being an exception but including Indian Runner and Khaki Campbell and Rouen Duck varieties, are descended from wild Mallard stock.  In theory a white (non-Muscovy) ‘table duck (or drake)’ could mate with a Pacific Black Duck, but that seems unlikely to me somehow.  Do we have any confirmed example?  That could mean that all or nearly all the exotic ducks we are seeing are inbred domestic varieties and reproductively harmless to the wild PBD pool.  But who could be certain?   


From: Alison [m("","apm56");" target="_blank">]
Sent: Friday, 11 May 2018 10:10 PM
To: 'Geoffrey Dabb';
m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Re: Information & ID of a Duck?


You are probably aware that there have been Mallards and what look like various cross-breeds on Lake Ginninderra for several years. While I haven’t seen any ducklings (not visiting often in Summer in past years), there does seem to be an increasing number of cross-bred birds with different colourings over the past few years.


Photos from 2008 and 2016 show the different colourations over the years.





From: Geoffrey Dabb [m("","gdabb");" target="_blank">]
Sent: Friday, 11 May 2018 4:58 PM
m("","canberrabirds");" target="_blank">
Subject: FW: [canberrabirds] Re: Information & ID of a Duck?


Thanks Christine.  Useful information.  I wouldn’t be surprised by local breeding within a ‘hybrid group’, which you confirm.  I wonder if pure P Black Ducks are being recruited into the pool, either as male or female. One clue is leg colour – female mallards and some hybrids will have orange/yellow legs.  PBD leg colour more dull greenish rather like that right hand hybrid.  Watch for shovelers, though.  g


From: Christine [m("","christine.d9933");" target="_blank">com]
Sent: Friday, 11 May 2018 12:10 PM
To: COG chatline
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Re: Information & ID of a Duck?


Hi Julie,


If Geoffrey is right about it being the one from West Belconnen Pond (which I think quite likely), then this was a duckling from last summer, and I have some very very poor photos from 2nd Jan 2017, The mother was a Mallard type, probably a hybrid, and the other duck in your photos is probably one of its siblings, as the ducklings were very close for over a year, and seen together (as in Geoffrey's photo), just the 5 or 6 of them, usually a little apart from the other mallards.


A couple of years before there was a Mallard type female with 12 ducklings - 6 yellow and 6 brown, but I only saw them once as tiny ducklings, so assume they all did not make it.

So yes, the domestic "Mallards" are breeding in the wild at WBP.








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