wad25's picture

Mallard hybrid

Observed: 22nd February 2010 By: wad25
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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Duck, larger than Mallard, dark head, yellow beak, white neck, light orange-brown side, greyish back, curled tail feathers. Swimming with mallard group.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) interacts


RoyW's picture

Personally I wouldn't call this a hybrid...

The duck in this observation is a domestic Mallard, and although it is not a 'pure' breed it is all Mallard and does not show any signs of having any other species in it's parentage. Personally I would only use the term 'hybrid' to refer to the offspring of a cross between two recognised species and would suggest that 'cross breed' or 'mongrel' is a better term to use for this individual (in the same way that these terms are typically used for dogs and other domestic animals).
To me 'Mallard hybrid' suggests a cross between a Mallard and another species, as in the examples here; http://10000birds.com/hybrid-mallards.htm

wad25's picture

Personally I wouldn't call this a hybrid...

OK, thanks for this RoyW.
But please help - how can I tell if a duck is a mongrel or hybrid?

RoyW's picture

Sometimes with difficulty!

It's not always easy to tell if a strange Mallards you find on a local lake is a hybrid, or the result of crosses between domestic breeds (and perhaps also wild Mallards) but still 100% Mallard.
Most 'mongrels' and hybrids show some of the features of each parent, so the best way is probably to compare the features of the bird you have seen with examples of domestic breeds and other duck species (or compare it with photos of these!).
Occasionally hybrids or cross breeds occur that don't look like either parent though, just to make things really difficult! The 'Manky Mallard' site you gave is a good start for breeds of Mallard. The link at the bottom of this (copied into my earlier post) shows a variety of Mallard hybrids - if you compare these with photos of pure Mallards and the partner species, you should be able to see features of both.

bobthebirder's picture


I'd just call it a domesticated form of mallard.

Bob Ford

RoyW's picture

I don't tend to try and work

I don't tend to try and work out parentage for domestic Mallards - it is interesting if the bird is a hybrid between two species though.