Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
© Dick Daniels/Wikimedia Commons (CC 3.0)

American Black Duck

American Black Duck
Anas rubripes
Duck-like Birds | Family: Ducks and Geese, Anatidae

An estimated 52% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

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."

Description

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.

Voice

Typical duck quack.

Nesting

9-12 greenish-buff eggs in a ground nest of feathers and down.

Habitat

Marshes, lakes, streams, coastal mudflats, and estuaries.

Range/Migration

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.