Interesting comments. I was going to comment earlier. I suspect that Pacific Black Duck hybridising with Mallards to be sometimes locally prevalent, where there
is an oversupply of Mallards, such as town council wetlands where both species are attracted together by excessive feeding by people and likely any offspring mostly stay attached to that resource. That is where I see it. But you don’t see it spreading far
into the Pacific Black Duck wild stock. Actually my reaction was I can’t see anything in the photo that would suggest that the bird is a hybrid. What I believe is usually notable in these PBD X Mallard hybrids is a different face pattern, different speculum
and orange feet.
From: Mark Clayton [
Sent: Friday, 29 November, 2019 7:40 PM
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Seeking advice: is the parent bird a hybrid Pacific Black Duck x Northern Mallard?
I think there is a bit too much hype regarding possible Pacific Black Duck hybridising with feral Domestic Mallards. Obviously it is a major problem in New Zealand but appears to be a very rare event in Australia. Many years ago while I was working at CSIRO
the late Dr Wayne Braithwaite and (from memory) Dr Ben Miller did a small study on hybridisation between these two species and found little to justify the claim. Things may have changed a bit since then but I think it is still a rare occurrence.
To comment on Con's photo, I suggest that it is an adult (female?) Pacific Black Duck with worn and stained plumage. A pity that the wing speculum can't be seen.
On 28/11/2019 10:19 am, Con Boekel wrote:
This image was captured at Kelly's on 26 November 2019. It was not until I had a good look at the image on the screen that I noticed what I thought might be an unusual tan colour on the parent bird.
It could be the result of water staining, but adjacent Grey Teal did not have the same colour pattern/staining on their plumage.
I assume that bird recorders may have been popping in Pacific Black Duck + 2 ducklings. But could the parent bird be a hybrid?