American Black Duck

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Anas rubripes

The Black Duck is primarily found in Eastern North America. Its size, body structure and flight characteristics closely resemble the Mallard.

The Black Duck is dusky brown with a paler head. The drake and hen look very similar except for their bills. The drake's bill is greenish yellow while the hen's bill is an olive green. Both sexes have a dark blue wing patch and a white under wing visible in flight. They both have a dark eye line.

Length: 24"
Weight: 2 3/4 lbs.

illustration of a black duck hen and drake

A bird of the eastern States, primarily the Atlantic Flyway and, to a lesser extent, the Mississippi.

Shy and wary, regarded as the wariest of all ducks.

Often seen in company of mallards, but along the Atlantic coast frequents the salt marshes and ocean much more than mallards.

Flight is swift, usually in small flocks.

White wing lining in contrast to very dark body plumage is a good identification clue.

illustration of black duck wings
American Black Duck
Illustration of black ducks in flightillustration of black duck flight pattern

The hen's quack and the drake's kwek-kwek are duplicates of the mallards.