Guide to Boreal Birds
Habitat destruction and widespread interbreeding between American Black Ducks and Mallards has resulted in recent years in a decrease of "pure" Blacks. Actually the bird is not black, but only appears so at a distance; it was formerly more aptly known as the "Dusky Duck."
19-22" (48-56 cm). Sooty brown with paler head and conspicuous white wing linings and violet speculum; olive or dull yellow bill. Sexes similar. Female Mallard paler and sandier, with bill mottled with orange and black, and whitish tail feathers.
Typical duck quack.
9-12 greenish-buff eggs in a ground nest of feathers and down.
Marshes, lakes, streams, coastal mudflats, and estuaries.
Breeds in eastern and central North America, from Manitoba and Labrador to Texas and Florida. Winters from southern Minnesota and Nova Scotia south to southern Texas and central Florida.