Mottled Duck

mottled duck
The Florida Mottled Duck (Anas fulviga fulviga) is one of 2 subspecies of mottled ducks found in North America.

Mottled Duck (Anas fulviga) consists of 2 North American  subspecies. These subspecies are the nominate Florida Mottled Duck (Anas fulviga fulviga) and the Gulf Coastal Mottled Duck (Anas fulviga maculosa), that have geographically independent breeding populations (refer to Phil Lavretsky’s mallard genetics discussion on Duck Season Somewhere podcast for more information).

Mottled ducks have drab plumage that without a second glance can be confused with that of mallard hens, but drake mottleds have black placement on their bright yellow bills on the tip and at the gape of their mouth (hens have blackish bills with yellow tips) and possess slightly darker body and eye stripe plumage. “Cousins” include Mallards, American Black Ducks, and Mexican Ducks. Some features to look for during flight include the pale head and light underwings of both sexes are prominent against their dark body. Similarly to all mallard-like subspecies, they sport orange traffic cone colored legs. Importantly, mottleds wings oftentimes have a single white wing bar on their blue-green speculums.