[CT Birds] I don't think it was a hybrid
PCOMINS at audubon.org
Sat Apr 26 08:15:52 EDT 2014
I'm thinking that bird I thought was a possible hybrid Northern Shoveler X Mallard is more likely a hybrid with some sort of domestic duck. Though superficial intermediate between the two in plumage, I would have liked for the bird to be smaller than standard Mallards and to have a larger bill. I also don't think a hybrid combination would account for the rufous on the scapulars of this bird. The features that had lead me to the possibility of it being a hybrid were the plumage, the relatively flat crown/gently sloping forehead and the amount of white visible in the wings while it was preening. I thought I might have seen some light blue, but the light was poor and bird distant and it might have been mixing between the blue speculum and the white feather tracts on the wing. The bird also seemed to have an oddly shaped bill, but not apparently larger than the surrounding Mallards.
I have put some photos of the bird up:
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Patrick M. Comins
Director of Bird Conservation
185 East Flat Hill Road
Southbury, CT 06488
Phone: (203)264-5098 x308
pcomins at audubon.org
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