American Black Duck

Latin: Anas rubripes

Basic info / Description

Average length: Male 22", Female 21"
Average weight: Male 2.7 lbs., Female 2.4 lbs.

  • Similar to mallard in size
  • Males bills are yellow, females bills are dull green
  • Males/females similar in appearance
  • Head is slightly lighter brown then the body


The Black Duck population has steadily decreased since the 1950s to reasons unknown.

Food habits

  • Dabble in shallow water to feed on plant material and small aquatic animals
  • In freshwater habitats, and mollusks and crustaceans in maritime habitats


Breeds from the upper Mississippi River across to the northeastern United States, north through northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, across Ontario and the eastern Canadian provinces.
  • Lays an average of 9 eggs
  • highest breeding grounds in Maine and Nova Scotia

Wide variety of breeding grounds

  • alkaline marshes
  • acid bogs
  • lakes
  • stream margins
  • fresh
  • brackish and salt marshes
  • the margins of estuaries
Breeding starts in March and April. They frequently reuse old nesting sites. They usually lay eggs at a rate of 1 per a day and lay usually 9 or 10. The incubation period is around 27 days. Crows and Raccoons destroy a lot of nests. The first eggs hatch in early May and peak in June. The young are able to walk in usually 1-3 hours.

The map below shows where the American Black duck is located year round, when it's breeding, not breeding, and when it migrates.

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