Pacific Black Duck - Mallard hybrids

To: Peter Menkhorst <>, "'Mike Carter'" <>, "'Jim Tate'" <>, "'Kev Lobotomi'" <>, "'Russell Woodford'" <>, "" <>
Subject: Pacific Black Duck - Mallard hybrids
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Fri, 4 Jul 2014 04:22:56 +0000
Hi Peter & Mike,

That's interesting. I am pretty sure that I had 'classic' Pacific Black
Duck x Mallard hybrids at Warriewood (Sydney) a few years ago. Will check
if I have documentation.

Best wishes,


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On 4/07/14 1:03 PM, "Peter Menkhorst" <> wrote:

>Hello all
>I think we need to be careful in assuming that orange legs and feet on
>Pacific Black Ducks indicate hybridisation with Mallards. Brighter orange
>legs is an indication of breeding condition in Black Ducks so we need to
>consider other morphological indicators of hybridisation such as:
> ♂ has curled central tail feathers and variable white feathers in tail,
>reduced facial stripes, warmer tones to breast feathers, the suggestion
>of a
>pale collar (not white) and orange-yellow legs and feet. ♀ resembles an
>abnormally dark ♀ mallard with orange-yellow legs and feet.
>As Mike says, feral Mallards are very rare in Australia and confirmed
>hybrids are almost unknown, in contrast to New Zealand where hybridisation
>is of real concern.
>Peter Menkhorst
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mike Carter 
>Sent: Friday, 4 July 2014 12:30 PM
>To: Nikolas Haass; Jim Tate; Kev Lobotomi; Russell Woodford;
>Cc: Peter Menkhorst
>Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Duck
>A rather late entry to this debate. I have no doubt that Russell's bird
>of feral origin, a hybrid farm-yard type duck.
>But the increasing occurrence of bright orange feet in otherwise 'perfect'
>Pacific Black Ducks south-east of Melbourne is surprising, difficult to
>explain and perhaps of some concern. Not so long ago I would count an
>orange-footed bird as a Shoveler but can no longer rely on that as an ID
>feature as more Black Ducks now show it. Surprising because Pacific Black
>Ducks are abundant, Mallard are extremely rare and the larger free flying
>farm-yard ducks very uncommon. As an illustration I took the attached shot
>showing Black Duck with orange feet on one of our recent surveys on a
>wetland SE of Melbourne. I realise that some individuals have brighter
>than others but it seems to me that the brightness and frequency of orange
>feet in Black Ducks is increasing.
>Mike Carter
>30 Canadian Bay Road
>Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
>Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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