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Old Wednesday 8th February 2006, 07:55   #1
Timberdoodler
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Domestic Waterfowl ID

Although I imagine domesticated waterfowl is not a preferred topic, I've been "dabbling" over a few ducks that were recently "dumped" onto a local pond recently.

As you will see in one of the attachments, a female mallard has been adopted into the group, and has been there for well over a year now with them.

In any case, I'm horrible with domestic fowl, and hopefully someone can ID these birds.

Attachment # 1 - Is this a Call Duck ? Note the small size. This individual is very loud, but a LOT smaller than any of the other birds on the pond. He's actually only been here for couple months, but his small size has quickly made him a favorite among locals. Loud descending quacks, similar to that of a female mallard, but higher in pitch. (Also - is this bird capable of flight? Note the long primaries.)

Attachment # 2 - I'm assuming this is a mallard X aylesbury hybrid or something. Likely a female because of the drab plumage? It's a very quiet bird however, and I've always believed females to be loud.

Attachments # 3 and 4 - Aylesbury? Larger than the mallards, much chunkier (as expected for a domestic duck), flightless, and yet not as "tall" in a standing position as a Pekin. However, the body seems to be less "square" than that of your typical Aylesbury. Perhaps the fact that these birds are basically free-ranging has taken away some of that design from the body. When standing, the body is quite large.

Also, the bill is brighter orange than the photos of Aylesbury I've seen. Generally the bill seems to be pinkish. I think I remember reading that commercial stock tend to have orange bills.

My final ID decision for 3 and 4 is Aylesbury.
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Last edited by Timberdoodler : Wednesday 8th February 2006 at 07:58.
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Old Wednesday 8th February 2006, 15:54   #2
AKestrel3
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Domestic Ducks

Number one is definately a Call Duck. Small in size and loud in voice is a great key. White is a very common variety. This duck can fly and typically the best expecially compared to the other overweight domesntic ducks.

Number two is definately a mix of domestic ducks. There are several common ones that came to mind Mallard X with one of the following Khaki Campbell, Blue Swedish or Pekin, or possibly what is called a "Gold Star Hybrid Duck". As for sexing, the easiest tell tale is to look for the tail feather curl in a male. In your picture 2 I cannot figure out if it has one or not. (# 3 appears to be a female and #4 a male)

Number three and four are Pekin. One of the most common domestic ducks that are bred in at least two "weight classes." Regular and large. I have seen them jump and glide out of danger but never fly. The large variety I suspect might not be able to get off the ground because of the excess weight.

Here is a link to a poultry breeder:
http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/category/ducklings.html

AK
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Old Wednesday 8th February 2006, 16:20   #3
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Actually, the duck in attachment number two has barely visible tail feathers. I'll try and get a better photograph of it, but I've yet to notice a tail curl.

Thanks a lot on the ID. I thought I was right about the Call Duck, but the Pekins had me thrown off. The pictures I saw of Pekins when I originally tried IDing them, showed very "tall" erect birds, almost goose-like, and these individuals definitely don't fit that description.

In any case, your description does fit them well.

Thank you for the input.
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Old Wednesday 8th February 2006, 17:12   #4
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No problem, there is a pond in front of my house with the same types of ducks. The Pekin are so fat they actually look like they are falling forward. The pond also has a type of duck, Runner, that stands erect, almost straight up. They both are pretty funny to watch. Not the same as wild ducks, but you know where Donald Duck came from.

When a wild Mallard lands on the pond you can see the difference from the domestic right away. Cleaner markings, correct bill marks in the female, etc...
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