Tuisku's picture

Noisy brown duck

Observed: 28th November 2010 By: TuiskuTuisku’s reputation in Birds
Brown duck
ducks from behind

Three ducks, all with more or less the same colouring. Their head looks slightly small to their body (when compared to Mallards for example). They have a beautiful brown coloured feathers, with a slight grey tinge. At least one of the ducks is extremely noisy, but only quacks at night-time. My neighbour is planning to make some duck stew for that reason... I find their quack quite comical and amusing, even it wakes me up!

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) interacts


bobthebirder's picture

manky mallards

Have a look through the wonderful diversity that is the "manky mallard" at and see if you still think these are brown teal...

Bob Ford

Tuisku's picture

Manky mallard it is

Thanks for that link Bob. Likely to be just a manky mallard. All three have the same lovely colouring so I was hoping it to be some ornamental species. They do look a bit odd though, "not quite right" as the manky mallard guide explains. The noisiest one is now likely to end up in a pot if my neighbour can catch it. Would anyone know why they are so noisy and is there anything I could do to save it?

Brown Teal "ID" was more for the colouring/looks than a proper ID - didn't expect to find New Zealandian endangered duck here :-)

bobthebirder's picture

noisy mallards

It may be that they are a cross between the variety of manky mallard known as a "calling duck" and another breed of mallard. Calling ducks are small, white and have a yellow bill. They were bred to be used as decoys to call wild ducks down and close enough to shoot. They certainly are noisy.

Bob Ford

RoyW's picture

Call ducks come in various forms.

There are actually a wide variety of different colour forms of call duck recognised by waterfowl breeders, ranging from all white (with a yellow bill and legs), to "wild Mallard" type plumage, to all black with a green gloss (and with black bill & legs). It is the size and shape that makes a call duck, not the colour.

Apparently the name original comes from the Dutch "kooi" meaning 'trap' or 'cage', rather than refer to the fact that these breeds tend to be very vocal - although they are vocal, which was obviously helpful when they were used to try and lure wild ducks into decoy traps and for shooting.

Tuisku's picture

Bristolian Runner Duck

I have cracked some of the mystery. This thing definitely has Indian Runner Duck in it (or shall I say Bristolian). The harbour iced up during a cold spell and I saw the Noisy Duck running on the ice, what a hilarious sight! Shaped like a bottle with feet. A nearby city farm has some runner ducks and I vaguely remember them being very noisy.

I'll post a picture if I can manage to take one. It's fast!