Monday, March 11, 2013

An Odd Duck

One of our local birders spotted an odd duck at a little pond near here.  We drove there to take a look.  The first day I was on the wrong side of the car and didn't want to disturb the duck while Dale photographed .... so I sketched what I could see -- the cattails.

When we returned the next day I got in the back seat before we arrived.  Now I, too, had a clear view.  It's an odd duck.  It is a large as a northern shoveler and from the shoulders back looks like a shoveler; but instead of a dark green head and huge bill, this duck has two splotches of white on its head and a large bill, but not the big flat flared bill typical of a n. shoveler. I suppose it is a hybrid, but we're not sure of its parentage.  The odd duck was keeping company with a handful of normal shovelers.

The little brown duck is a hen hooded merganser who was sharing the pond with the shovelers.


  1. I like your sketches. The white crescent in front of the eye suggests a Northern shoveler-Blue winged teal hybrid (see Google images). The white patch on the cheek, though, is more of a puzzle as it would not be typical of that hybrid. Interesting bird!

  2. Has the face markings of an Australasian Shoveler - native of Australia and New Zealand. I'm guessing its a ways out of it's normal range...

  3. It has the markings of an Australasian shoveler - native to Australia and New Zealand.

    1. I looked up the Australasian shoveler. There is a strong similarity! but the Australasian bill flares like a northern shoveler and I don't see that white cheek patch.

      Thanks for alerting me to the Australasian... a close resemblance.

  4. me encanta tus dibujos ,da ganas de intentarlo, tambien !!

  5. Great page, Elva. Love watching ducks.


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