Date: 3/24/21 12:11 pm
From: Brush Freeman <brushfreeman...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Mexican x Mottled Duck hybrid in Harris County?
Body feather patterns are important indicators though likely won't hold
true in hybrids, but at least you can eliminate a few possibilities.

On Wed, Mar 24, 2021 at 11:30 AM Berner Family <dmarc-noreply...>
wrote:

> Texbirders:
>
> Letha Slagel photographed a tame pair of unusual ducks at Deputy
> GoForth/ Horsepen Creek Park in Harris County. Although the identity of
> the female is unclear (need pictures of speculum, tail in flight and back
> of the head) the male appears to be a hybrid Mexican x Mottled. The bird
> has characteristics of both species. The question is, are there any
> northern mallard components. I consulted Steve Mlodinow author of an ABA
> article on Mexican Ducks who feels it is a Mexican x Mottled Duck hybrid.
>
> Comments and more photos of the clean orange billed female welcomed. Pair
> is tame and still present.
>
> Be cautioned however there are at least three similar pairs throughout the
> lake plus other northern mallard combinations and domestic ducks . Two of
> the males in those similar pairs have a faint dark green sheen on the back
> of the head indicating Northern Mallard heritage but look similar from the
> side toLetha’s bird.
>
> This is obviously an identification area fraught with peril. You cannot
> identify some of these kinds of ducks. Here is Steve’s note referring to
> the March 21 link below to Letha’s photos
>
> Hello John
>
> Fascinating bird.
> So, cutting to the answer, the male does look like a Mottled x Mexican
> Duck, a bird that is truly rare. One would assume the female the same, or
> perhaps a Mexican Duck, but I can't say much from these photos about her.
>
> The speculum pattern and tail are fine for Mexican Duck, and the speculum
> is obviously wrong for Mottled Duck. The black at the gape is limited to
> the bill as far as I can tell, and does not actually involve the
> feathering. Mottled Ducks can have this pattern, or a spot of black
> feathering at the gape. Mexican Ducks can have a bit of black on the bill
> at the gape (not nearly as commonly as in Mottled Duck), as this bird does,
> and do sometimes have black feathering at the gape as well, though Mexican
> Ducks with black feathering at the gape have it as part of a thin line that
> extends down from the eyeline (different from the pattern in Mottled).
>
> But, the pale face with limited dark markings is really classic for
> Mottled Duck and wrong for Mexican. While it is conceivable for a Mexican
> Duck to have such a pale face, I think the pale face combined with the dark
> at the gape really make a hybrid the most likely correct identification.
>
> Best Wishes
> Steve M****************
>
> John Berner
>
>
> eBird Checklist - 21 Mar 2021 - Horsepen Creek Park - 9 species (+3 other
> taxa) <https://ebird.org/checklist/S83825200>
>
> eBird Checklist - 21 Mar 2021 - Horsepen Creek Park - 9 species (+3 other
> taxa)
>
> By Letha Slagle
>
> Submitted by Letha Slagle.
> <https://ebird.org/checklist/S83825200>
>
>
>
> eBird Checklist - 23 Mar 2021 - Horsepen Creek Park - 6 species (+3 other
> taxa) <https://ebird.org/checklist/S83947388>
>
> eBird Checklist - 23 Mar 2021 - Horsepen Creek Park - 6 species (+3 other
> taxa)
>
> By Letha Slagle
>
> Submitted by Letha Slagle.
> <https://ebird.org/checklist/S83947388>
>
>
>
> Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad <https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/?.src=iOS>
>


--

Brush Freeman
<http://www.biospatialsevices.com>
Utley & Cedar Park, Texas

 
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