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Possibly Hybrid Ducks

Observed: 6th April 2011 By: DryopithecusDryopithecus’s reputation in Birds

About twice the size (mass) of a mallard and of similar appearance, with some distinctive variation, especially in the head & neck region.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) interacts


Dryopithecus's picture

Are they the same species?

While they were on the pool (technically a borrow pit, but why not call it a lake?) they did not associate with the proper mallards in residence there. When the duck went/died, the drake was left on his own. Whether the new arrivals shunned the residents or vice-versa, I couldn't say, but there appeared to be no chance of them of interbreeding, which most people would say means they are not of the same species.


Dryopithecus's picture

In addition

First, it seems clear that these aren't standard Indian Runners.

The following is an excerpt form Wikipedia at

"Indian Runners are an unusual breed of domestic duck. They stand erect like penguins and, rather than waddling, they run. ... These ducks do not fly.
Indian Runners love foraging. They also like swimming in ponds and streams, but they are likely to be preoccupied in running around grassy meadows looking for worms, slugs, even catching flies. They appreciate open spaces but are happy in gardens from which they cannot fly and where they make much less noise than Call Ducks. Only the females quack. All drakes are limited to a hoarse whisper."

This seems very different from a normal mallard, also very different from the ducks I observed!

The ducks I saw did not like running around on land and when they (briefly) came out of the water they waddled like a normal duck. After the duck disappeared, the drake swam around the lake quacking loudly & persistently. Although I didn't observe them flying, if they couldn't fly, where did they come from & where's the drake now?

Next, are you sure that the ducks illustrated have no ancestors other than Indian Runners and common Mallards?

I would also like to know if you have any evidence that Indian Runners belong strictly to Anas platyrhynchos & aren't themselves hybrids.