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Mystery duck - any ideas please? Warwickshire UK (1 Viewer)

HelenJC

Member
United Kingdom
Came across a pair of ducks in a small pond in woodland in south Warwickshire yesterday evening - apologies for the rubbbish phone photo, went back early this morning with my camera but they had gone🙁

Drawn a complete blank on identifying them, now wondering if they may be a hybrid? Teal sized and very distinctly marked.

Thank you for any suggestions.
 

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THE_FERN

Well-known member
Look like South American ringed teal (and hence escapes). Lower bird has a strange mix of male and female (head pattern) plumage but this might just be an immaturity thing. They're likely a pair with female at the back
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Hi Helen and a warm welcome to you from all the Staff and Moderators.

Yes, I think The Fern is right, they must have escaped from a collection, as they do not occur on this side of the Atlantic.

I'm sure you will enjoy it here and I look forward to hearing your news.
 

HelenJC

Member
United Kingdom
Look like South American ringed teal (and hence escapes). Lower bird has a strange mix of male and female (head pattern) plumage but this might just be an immaturity thing. They're likely a pair with female at the back
Thank you so much, delighted to hear there isn’t a mysterious British resident duck I had managed to overlook!
 

stevethehydra

Well-known member
I think these have to be either hybrids or aberrant/captive-bred colour mutation forms of something - they don't match any normal species!

The body plumage is reminiscent of Ringed Teal, but the head is all wrong, unless there are some really major photo artefacts going on. Ringed Teal are frequently bred in captivity, so I wouldn't be surprised if there are some odd colour forms and/or occasional (deliberately or accidentally produced) hybrids with other small duck species. I can't work out an obvious candidate for the other parent species from this though. Something with a dark head, I guess...
 

HelenJC

Member
United Kingdom
Thanks both - the photos are rubbish but do accurately reflect the colour and patterning, especially the clearly defined white patches on the head. Really wish they had hung around until the morning!
 

Andy Lakin

Well-known member
Do keepers/ breeders intentionally allow duck species to hybridise? Obviously ducks will often mate with anything I just wondered if it was sometimes done for aesthetic reasons.
 

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