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Pacific Black Duck v hybrid with Mallard, New Zealand (1 Viewer)


Gregor Tims
Happy New Year to everyone,

Having only recently moved to New Zealand, I am still getting used to the proliferation of Mallard-Pacific Black Duck hybrids here, indeed seeing a 'pure' PBD is incredibly rare in NZ nowadays, and indeed I personally feel that 'pure' Mallards aren't too common in Christchurch either.

I saw these individuals today. I would have immediately called the individual in the left of the top photo a PBD had I seen it in Queensland (where there aren't many Mallards, nor hybrids), but here I'm much more tentative as I've heard that pure PBDs survive only in wild areas. Can anyone help with the any features in these birds that suggest that they are hybrids? Or might they be pure PBDs? Thanks!


Well-known member
Based on this:


and examination of Macaulay images I'd suggest they're both hybrids. First duck has bright orange (=mallard) legs, and both have rather muted, murky facial patterns. There's probably some variation in the latter (again judging by photos and assuming these are correctly id'd), but I think the mutedness is a pointer here. Perhaps the roundness of the head: although it's been years since I saw one, I remember that black duck gives a long-profiled impression.

Joern Lehmhus

Well-known member
They are indeed both hybrids also in my opinion. Facial pattern has already mentioned as a bit too spotted in the light areas for 2nd photo. In the left bird apart from the leg color already mentioned , you see a blue speculum with a black and a similarly broad white line in front of the blue. also note the very white tail feathers in the right hand bird on the first photo, also indicating mallard parentage.

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