Date: 3/24/21 8:12 pm
From: Letha S <letha.slagle...>
Subject: [texbirds] Re: Mexican x Mottled Duck hybrid in Harris County?
Extremely grateful to John Berner and the two experts who commented on my
reports. I was able to spend a full hour with the birds today in less
harsh light and got more photos of the panels, tails and faces of both
birds. I ended up with a different opinion. I think that the male is
identical to the pure Mexican Duck displayed as figure 3 in Mlodinow's ABA
article. I think the female is hybrid Mottled Mexican. I wish that my
original photos that were evaluated had been in less direct light and
suspect the conclusion would have been different. The new captures with
details of reasoning are in simply as duck sp. today at Horsepen Creek
while they are evaluated. Cheers all, good birding, Letha

On Wed, Mar 24, 2021, 9:39 PM Justin Bosler <justin.bosler...> wrote:

> John, Texbirds,
>
> While I don't see the pale buffy, finely streaked cheek of a classic
> Mottled Duck or any other convincing traits of MODU, for that matter, I am
> interested in learning more about the variation observed in adult male
> Mexican Duck before settling on the hybrid theory. I also wanted to
> comment that it would be 10 or even 100 times more likely for this pair of
> birds to be pure or predominantly pure Mexican Ducks as opposed to the
> infinitesimally low odds of TWO hybrid Mexican x Mottled Ducks of opposite
> sexes somehow locating one another and pairing up.
>
> It appears as though in times of drought throughout much of its range,
> Mexican Duck may wander more widely. Wyoming just documented its
> second-ever record this week. However, only time will tell now that
> Mexican Duck has been elevated to full species status and will be given
> more attention and greater scrutiny.
>
> Bird on,
> Justin Bosler
> Big Spring, Texas
>
>
>
>
>
>
> On Wed, Mar 24, 2021, 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>
>>
>

 
Join us on Facebook!