Mallard and other hybrids - Heidelberg area

Subject: Mallard and other hybrids - Heidelberg area
From: brian fleming <>
Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2014 20:59:02 +1000
For about five years a domestic drake of Khaki Campbell type lived on a local billabong among Black Ducks. It certainly tried to court Black Ducks, but I never saw any hybrid offspring. Perhaps this variety is a bit handicapped - I am told it is derived from the Indian Runner breed which are great layers but very poor sitters. This would seem a disadvantage in a feral situation.

Locally very large white domestic ducks are seen in small numbers on ponds etc. No offspring - I believe they are sterile mule duck- a cross between the South American Muscovy Duck and Domestic Mallards. Muscovy Ducks can be glossy black, pied or white - adults have red wattles on their faces. Neighbours kept a large black Muscovy Drake which often followed us round the garden for snails. This led to an enquiry from the (then) Dept. of Conservation, who had been told we were illegally keeping a pet Black Swan.

At Darebin Parklands I photographed a bird which was either a domestic/Black Duck hybrid or a very leucistic Black Duck. Very pale with normal-type face stripes in brown - its picture maybe found on <> under Pacific Black Duck. I have also seen some very piebald Chestnut Teal there. The ranger tells me it is almost impossible to remove Mallards and domestics without public outcry.

Anthea Fleming
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