Have Gun Will Travel wrote:The beak in the first pic is definetly that of a black duck hen. Judging by the second pic, its hard to tell, but I dont even know why you'd call it a mallard.
I agree about the bill. And, though a little difficult to tell for sure, the head looks like it has the dark eye stripe of a black duck. The darker color is less of an indication, but a purple speculum with white barring would indicate a black/mallard cross.
We get lots of black ducks locally. We are only allowed one a day, but they are everywhere, especially this past year. However, most of the black ducks we kill are actually hybrids. The most tell tail sign is the white bars in the speculum. I've discussed this with a couple of ECOs and DEC biologists, and they all agree that white barring is an indication of cross breeding.