American Black Ducks


American Black Ducks

Black ducks are similar to mallards in size, and resemble the female mallard in coloration, though the black duck's plumage is darker. The male and female black duck are similar in appearance, but the male's bill is yellow while the female's is a dull green. The head is slightly lighter brown than the dark brown body, and the speculum is iridescent violet-blue with predominantly black margins. In flight, the white underwings can be seen in contrast to the dark brown body


The American black duck breeds from the upper Mississippi River across to the northeastern United States, north through northern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, across Ontario and the eastern Canadian provinces. The highest breeding densities are found in Maine and Nova Scotia. Black ducks utilize a variety of habitats for breeding, such as alkaline marshes, acid bogs, lakes, stream margins, fresh, brackish and salt marshes, and the margins of estuaries. Female black ducks lay an average of 9 eggs.

Food Habits

Black ducks dabble in shallow water to feed on plant material and small aquatic animals (insects, amphibians, etc.) in freshwater habitats, and mollusks and crustaceans in maritime habitats.