American Black Duck – Length: 23 inches, wing span: 35 inches
Closely related to the Mallard and the Mottled Duck, the American Black Duck occasionally hybridizes with other duck species as well. Migration is nocturnal in American Black Ducks and involves relatively short movements from breeding to wintering ranges in the eastern U.S.
While American Black Ducks can take off nearly vertically from water without a paddling start, their relatively large, heavy bodies and wide wings result in slower wing beats than in many smaller ducks. Black Ducks defend territories against Mallards, and vice versa.
American Black Ducks and Mallards hybridize often. Female hybrids are very difficult to identify. Mallards seem to be replacing the American Black Duck in many areas.
For males, dark body contrasts with lighter head. Bill is yellow on the male. Purple speculum edged with black, may show thin white edge on trailing edge.