American Black Duck

BLACK DUCKOne of 13 species in the worldwide mallard complex, overall plumage on the American Black Duck (Anas rubripes) can be easily compared to that of Mallard hens, but the brown is darker, appearing black as a shadow, especially in low light (or as compared to the mallards they frequently mix with). Black ducks do not have the distinctive white tail feathers that mallard hens have. Silvery white underwing may be seen in flight. Plumage between sexes is similar, but there  bill colors can be used to distinguish drakes from hens. The drake has a yellow bill. The hen’s bill is olive green with darker mottling seen on the middle. Both sexes have red/orange legs. Speculum looks an iridescent blue to purple on both sexes. Drakes have gray/brown head that abruptly changes to black/brown after the throat and possess an eye stripe that matches the body plumage. Juveniles show the same general plumage as the hens, but with a darker green bill color.