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North American Shoveler
N.A. Black Duck

[ Philippine Duck ] [ Black Duck ] [ Gadwall ]
[ N. A. Shoveler ]



Black ducks are similar to mallards in size, and resemble the female mallard in coloration, although the black duck's plumage is darker. The male and female black duck are similar in appearance, but the male's bill is yellow while the female?s is a dull green. The head is slightly lighter brown than the dark brown body, and the speculum is iridescent violet-blue with predominantly black margins. In flight, the white underwings can be seen in contrast to the dark brown body. 

: 16 inches Wingspan: 36 inches


American Black Ducks nest on or near the ground, generally close to water. Dense clumps of vegetation help to obscure shallow depressions lined with plant material and feather down. The female incubates 9 to 10 eggs, rarely leaving the nest during the final few days before hatching. Immediately after hatching, chicks can swim and find food on their own.



General Comments

Black Ducks congregate in large groups in the fall and winter, when pair bonds form. Pairs remain together through the winter and into the breeding season. Once the eggs are laid and the female begins incubation, the pair dissolves. At this time the males molt their feathers and go through a month-long period of flightlessness while their new feathers grow in. Once the young fledge, the females go through the same flightless molt. By August, both sexes are able to fly again.



Place Mouse over Pictures to Enlarge

Black Duck Drake

Black Duck Hen

Black Duck Pair

Black Duck Brood

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