lpearce's picture

Large Mallards

Observed: 19th December 2009 By: lpearcelpearce’s reputation in Birdslpearce’s reputation in Birdslpearce’s reputation in Birdslpearce’s reputation in Birds

Not sure what these large birds are on the right of the photograph? They were with a group of Mallards on the canal by Salts Mill. They are much larger than the Mallards

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) interacts


lpearce's picture

David, These were so much

These were so much bigger than the other normal size Mallards, as can be seen in the photograph, I did not think they could possibly be Mallards.
But I am no expert so thanks for the ID

Les Pearce
Photos- http://www.flickr.com/photos/assyntnature/
Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/assyntnature
Wildlife of Assynt

Tuisku's picture


Could they be hybrids of some kind? They have some white markings on their head and neck that look odd. Also their head shape looks more like a goose or a farm duck. I see David mentioned this above - but can we still call them Mallards? When do this kind of hybrids stop being Mallards and start being something else, is it possible to draw a line?

RoyW's picture

Breeds rather than hybrids.

Domestic Mallard breeds, although often very different from their wild relatives, are still Mallards (in the same way as all breeds of dog are the same species).
'Hybrid' is a word that often gets used for birds like the one shown in these photographs, but is a term that is perhaps better used only for crosses between two different species.

Norwichnaturalist's picture

They are hybrid ducks

They are hybrid ducks probably from Farmyard stock, could be escape reared for shooting birds which are much bigger than the wild birds

Colin Jacobs.
Wild Flower Society member

bobthebirder's picture


Their long head shape reminds me of the breed called Indian Runners, but as these are also a form of Mallards they can't really be called hybrids. Perhaps cross-breed is a more acceptable term. You wouldn't call a mongrel dog a hybrid, unless one of its parents was a different species.

Bob Ford