American Black Duck

An American Black Duck on the Fox River in Waukesha WI. Photographs were taken on March 16, 2014.  Other species present were Common Goldeneye Ducks (m-f), Red-breasted and ~30 Common Mergansers (m-f),  with many Mallards (f-m). A large portion of the river froze up with the cold temps over night, but enough was open to hold most of the duck from yesterday. The Mute Swans in the area were still leading the show with their presence. Lots of sun in the afternoon, but the wind made it feel extremely cold.

American Black Duck

American Black Duck

American Black Duck

Binomial name: Anas rubripes

Category: Duck, Geese, and Swans

Size: 23” long, 35” wing span

Weight: 2.6 lbs.

Habitat:  Breeding habitat for this species are in freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, acid bogs, lakes, stream margins, and sometimes margins in estuaries in the eastern US.

Diet: Mostly plant matter but will also eat insects, crustaceans, mollusks and larvae of dragonflies, caddisflies, beetles. Fish can also be a part of their diet.

Nesting:  The female selects a well concealed site and builds a basin shape nest 7-8” across about 1.5” deep. It is usually located on or near the ground usually close to water. The nest is lined with feather down and plant material.  Crotches of trees, hollows or large tree cavities can also be a nesting site. The female incubates 8-12 eggs and usually does not leave the nest until the eggs hatch. Once hatched, the chicks can immediately swim and find food by themselves.

Cool facts: Previous known as the “dusky” duck as it is actually dark and not black. The American Black Duck is similar to the Mallard Duck in profile but smaller in size.

 American Black Duck

American Black Duck

American Black Duck being chased by a Drake Mallard Duck

American Black Duck being chased by a male Mallard Duck

American Black Duck being chased by a Drake Mallard Duck

American Black Duck being chased by a male Mallard Duck

American Black Duck being chased by a Drake Mallard Duck

American Black Duck being chased by a male Mallard Duck

American Black Duck stretching

American Black Duck stretching

American Black Duck stretching

American Black Duck stretching

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck shaking

American Black Duck shaking

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck preening

American Black Duck

American Black Duck

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About admin

Window to Wildlife features the photography of Jim Edlhuber. A lifelong native of Wisconsin, Jim has been photographing wildlife for 20 years. He considers himself an avid photographer and is always trying to capture nature and wildlife through his lens. He is in several photography clubs and has won numerous awards for his work. In recent years, Jim has focused mostly on birding photography and finds it to be the most challenging.

2 Responses to American Black Duck

  1. Never seen one myself. Quite beautiful, as captured by your usual eye and talent.

  2. Fabulous looking bird, Jim. Some great shots here.

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