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Duck and Blackbird? in Santa Cruz, California ID help needed (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I took both of these photos in the morning of September 20, 2021 in Santa Cruz California. The duck was hanging out with the typical crowd of Mallards at Neary Lagoon, but it don't see a clear resemblance with anything in my bird books. I saw the second bird at the side of the multi-use trail along West Cliff Drive. I'm guessing it might be a female Brewer's Blackbird, but I'm not sure.

Identification help would be appreciated.


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Well-known member
I believe the Brewer's Blackbird is a female. As I understand molt in this species, by this time in the autumn young male Brewer's Blackbirds should glossy black all over, with perhaps some brownish fringes on the back, tertials, and wing coverts. The eye would also likely be lighter in color.


Well-known member
Thanks for the help everyone. What does "Domestic duck" mean in terms of scientific name (genus and species)?


Well-known member
Domestic ducks are descended from mallards, but it serves no meaningful purpose to give them a scientific name as their genes have been thoroughly mucked about by selective breeding. (Before somebody else says it, there also exist domestic Muscovy ducks, but those are domestic Muscovy ducks not 'domestic ducks'.)


Speak softly and carry a long lens
What does "Domestic duck" mean in terms of scientific name (genus and species)?

In this case, it's a mallard, Anas platyrhynchos.

There are also domesticated Muscovy Ducks (Cairina moschata), and the two species can hybridize, but yours is a mallard.

(Ducks of some further species are sometimes kept in parks and gardens, and eider may be semi-domesticated for easy harvest of down, but only the two species above have obvious farm breeds.)
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