American Black Duck
- Length: 16 inches Wingspan: 36 inches
- Large dabbling duck
- Pale gray-brown face
- Dark brown cap and eye line
- Dark brown breast, belly, back and upper wing
- Purple speculum without white borders
- Bright silvery wing linings
- Immature similar to adult
- Greenish-yellow bill
- Legs frequently bright red
- Greenish bill with black patches
- Legs generally orange
Female, immature and eclipse male Mallards are
much paler, without contrast between head and body and with white borders to a
blue speculum. Hybrid Mallard x Black Ducks are often seen and usually have
traces of the mallard plumage, with bluer speculum usually bordered with white
on one or both edges. Mottled Duck is similar, with broader brown edgings to
upperparts and bluer speculum. Female Gadwalls have a steeper forehead, gray
bill, white belly, and usually shows white in the wing.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds
of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Above information used courtesy of
United States Geological Survey.