Date: 2/6/21 7:00 am
From: Jamie Chavez via <almiyi...>
Subject: Re: [sbcobirding] Waller Park Duck Hybrids
Just a follow-up to this... I received some feedback on the mystery duck hybrid and I wanted to pass this along as food for thought:

"I'm going to propose that it is a Mallard x Green-winged Teal. Mallard genes are clearly dominant, but the bill is smaller, and not as elegant as in the 'Brewer's.' One thing I note on male 'Brewer's' is that they all seem to have broad, black undertail coverts, whereas this bird has black seemingly confined to the central undertail coverts, as in Green-winged (but not American Wigeon). Further, the retained juvenile feathers on the lower scapulars and upper flanks very much remind me of those still found on many young male Green-winged that have yet to complete preformative molt. So, if a MALL x GWTE, this bird appears to have inherited the molt-timing of the latter species."

Coincidentally, I was actually moving in this same direction but I couldn't find any photos to satisfy my suspicions. In all of the eBird database there are only three listed with photo media so that is not especially helpful for using as a comparison, and other info I found describes or illustrates different appearances for this hybrid combination. This is not unusual given that an individual bird can show features of one or the other and no two would look alike. Given the description above I am inclined to call this duck a Green-winged Teal X Mallard. At least at this point in time. If you look at the brown-patterned flank feathers and the orange color on the cheek these might point to GWTE. This might also explain the dark and yellow-orange bill which is something the previous Am Wigeon X Mallard did not show. It had a pale bill similar to that of a pure wigeon.

Jamie M. Chavez
Santa Maria, CA

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Friday, February 5, 2021 2:21 PM, Jamie Chavez via <almiyi...> wrote:

> I had an interesting hybrid duck at Waller Park in Santa Maria a short time ago. There is a "Brewer's Duck" (Gadwall X Mallard hybrid) that has returned for its fourth winter, and there had been an American Wigeon X Mallard hybrid there also returning for its fourth winter, but the bird I saw today is a different hybrid altogether. This makes three different hybrids found in the front pond. I'm tentatively calling it an American Wigeon X Mallard but I am unconvinced because it looks different from the bird that had returned since 2017 (I did not see it today). These things are often tricky to ID but if you are up for the challenge I would be interested in opinions.
> Today's hybrids ("Brewer's" Duck and new hybrid):
> Earlier checklist with known American Wigeon X Mallard hybrid for comparison
> It is starting to feel like spring there. One sign I have witnessed over the years is the return of Lawrence's Goldfinch to the park. I found a M/F pair today and heard another singing.
> Jamie M. Chavez
> Santa Maria, CA
> _._,_._,_

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