Mottled Duck

The Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula) is a medium-sized dabbling duck, intermediate in appearance between female Mallard and American Black Duck. It is closely related to those species, and is sometimes considered a race of the former.

This duck is common within its restricted range located in coastal marshes in the southeastern USA, extending into Mexico. The nest is built on the ground amongst vegetation.

This duck measures an average of 55cm long. Its dark body contrasts with its lighter head and neck. The legs are orange and the eyes dark. Both sexes have a shiny green-blue wing patch. Male and female are similar, but the male’s bill is bright yellow, whereas the female’s has a greenish yellow hue.

The plumage is darker than female Mallard, especially at the tail, and the bill is more yellow. In flight, the lack of a white border to the speculum is a key difference. Black Duck is darker than Mottled Duck, and has a bluer wing patch. The behavior and voice are the same as for Mallard.

Mottled Ducks feed by dabbling in shallow water, and grazing on land. They mainly eat plants, but also some mollusks and aquatic insects.