We all know that there are numerous Mallard hybrids dabbling throughout the U.S. I've seen some fascinating ones. It occurs to me that if by chance one of these fascinating ducks is not in fact a hybrid but a rare (for the US) species of waterfowl from Europe or Asia, I would pass it by without realizing that. Last weekend I saw such a bird. It was beautiful - shiny black all over with a greenish black sheen to its head and neck, a pale yellow Mallard like bill, orange feet and a short curly tail. It was in the company of 3 white domestic geese, dabbling (but not tipping its butt up in the air) on a lake at a local park in east Tennessee. The bill and green head sheen make me think Mallard hybrid. But what on earth did the Mallard mate with to produce such a bird? Domestic Muscovies that you see many of here are the right shiny black color, but where would the green neck have come from? This duck did not resemble a muscovy in any way except for the black color. In other words, the duck was shaped like a Mallard. They often cross breed with American Black Ducks but American Black Ducks are not shiny black like this. If this was not a distinct species of duck, it should have been, it was that stunningly beautiful.
Another one that I saw in late November, also in East Tennessee, was actually with a group of Mallards. It was about the size & shape of a Mallard; was coal black (but not shiny black) except for 2 small white wing bars, white throat and probable white spot at the base of a black bill.
If anyone recognizes either of these ducks from my descriptions, I'd be most grateful.