Kingdoms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Anseriformes / Anatidae / Anas / Species
< >  Anas rubripes - American black duck (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
Click on photograph for full-screen view Click on photograph for full-screen view Click on photograph for full-screen view

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

Click image to return to Waterfowl Contents FlowchartCONTENTS
(Waterfowl)

Click image for list of Waterfowl Species

Click image for list of Waterfowl Agents
Click image for list of Waterfowl Diseases
Click image for list of Waterfowl Environmental Events / Factors

Return to top of page

General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

North American black duck
Black duck
Black mallard
Dunkelente (German)
Canard noiratra (French)
Canard obscur (French)
Anade sombrio (Spanish)
Anade sombrio americano (Spanish)
Pato negro (Spanish)
Zwarte Eend (Dutch)
Svartand (Swedish)
Anas platyrhynchos rubripes

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, Downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

Eclipse

Return to top of page

References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B2, B3, B5, B8, B19, B25, B26, B27.

Aviculture references:
B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1
D1, D8

Other References

--
Click image for main Reference Section

Return to top of page

TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

  •  

Return to top of page

Aviculture information

Notes

General Information:
  • Dabbling Ducks are generally hardy, easy to maintain and easy to breed. Shelter may be required by some of the smaller species in winter. They should be provided with cover (including marginal pond cover) and loafing areas as well as water. A pen which is 50% water is suggested. The water may be shallow (i.e. no more than two feet deep is required), and muddy areas for dabbling in are also appreciated. These ducks are generally good in mixed collections, although the smaller and quieter species may be bullied. Territorial disputes between ducks of the same species may be avoided by keeping only one pair of each species in an enclosure, unless the area is very large. For a single pair of ducks a pen are of 50 to 100 square metres, depending on the size of duck, should be provided.
  • A diet based on wheat and pellets is suggested, with maintenance pellets changed to breeders pellets for the breeding season. Bread and greenfood are also appreciated. Grit should always be available, with soluble grit (e.g. oystershell grit) as a calcium source when breeding.
  • Most species are ground nesters and both close ground cover and ground level nest boxes should be provided. Hand-rearing is generally preferred, as these ducks are generally poor parents in captive conditions, particularly in enclosures shared with other waterfowl. These ducks are prone to hybridization, particularly with closely related species, which should be kept apart from one another.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • American black ducks should be kept in an enclosure containing water, cover, and loafing areas. These ducks are similar to Anas platyrhynchos - Mallard, but less easily bred in captivity.
  • They may use a wide variety of natural and artificial nest sites and normally lay March to June.
  • Hybridise with related species including Anas platyrhynchos - Mallard; should be kept separate form closely related (mallard-type) species.

(B29, B97, B128.w2).

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average ring size: L 11.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

--
Click image for main Aviculture Section

Return to top of page

External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 53-61cm (B1).
Adult weight General About 1150-1350g (B1).
Male Average 1330g, (B3); mean 2.7 lbs. (B8).
Female Average 1160 (B3); mean 2.5 lbs. (B8).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

Return to top of page

Head

Adult Bill Male Yellow with black nail.
Variations (If present) Female: olive with black nail and culmen markings.
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Grey-yellow.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

Return to top of page

Legs

Adult Male Red-orange.
Variations (If present) Female: brown-orange.

Eclipse: bill more olive.

Juvenile Brownish.

Return to top of page

Plumage

Adult Male Head and neck pale buff with fine black streaking, black eyeline, blackish crown and hindneck. Whole body black-brown with narrow buff edge to feathers, strongest markings on breast and flanks.

Wing dark except for secondaries blue-purple with black base and tips; variable very fine buff/white extreme tips sometimes produce fine white back edge to speculum.

Variations (If present) Female: As male but head and neck greyer with more streaking, speculum bluer.

Eclipse: head and neck darker, more streaking.

Juvenile Similar to female, overall brown, more streaked.

Return to top of page

Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts dark brown, including breast band , narrow eyestreak and small ear spot. Underparts and markings yellow (similar to mallard Anas platyrhynchos).
Bill: Grey.
Feet: Grey.

Return to top of page

Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Begins March/April.
No. of Clutches Will re-nest if first clutch unsuccessful

Return to top of page

Nest placement and structure

Nest concealed in vegetation, in tree cavities or in tree forks, lined with plant material and down.

Return to top of page

Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 7-12 (B1)
Range 1-17 (B1); 7-12 (B8).
Egg Description Cream to buff or greenish (B3, B8). Size: 58 x 40mm, weight: 63g (B3).

Return to top of page

Incubation

26-29 days (B1, B8).

Return to top of page

Hatching

Synchronous.

Return to top of page

Fledging

About 60 days (B1); 49-56 days (B8).

Return to top of page

Sexual Maturity

Males One year old.
Females One year old.

Return to top of page

Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Probes, dabbles and up-ends in shallows, occasionally dives, also grazes.
Newly-hatched --

Return to top of page

Parental Behaviour

Nest-building Nest as solitary pairs or in loose groups.
Incubation By female.
Newly-hatched Tended by female only.
Juveniles

Female remains with brood until fledging.

Return to top of page

Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Gregarious outside the breeding season.
Inter-specific --

Return to top of page

Sexual Behaviour

Seasonal pair bonds. Males may stay with females for part or occasionally the whole of incubation.

Return to top of page

Predation in Wild

--

Return to top of page

Activity Patterns

Remain in the northern breeding areas until feeding waters freeze over.
Circadian --

Return to top of page

Natural Diet

Adults

Mixed diet: seeds and vegetative parts aquatic and crop plants, also invertebrates (insects, molluscs, crustaceans).

Return to top of page

Newly-hatched

--

Return to top of page

Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal North America: eastern Canada from Manitoba to Newfoundland, southward to eastern USA (as far as North Carolina)

Partially migratory and dispersive.

Northern birds migrate southward to winter as far south as Atlanta and Texas.

Occasional and Accidental

Vagrant to Korea, Puerto Rico and western Europe, especially Britain.

Introduced

--

Return to top of page

Habitat

Brackish (preferred) and fresh waters, with some tree cover. Larger open lagoons and coasts used outside breeding season.

Return to top of page

Conservation

Intraspecific variation

--

Return to top of page

Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Declined considerably since the 1950s (B1).

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing --
Threats Competition with and hybridisation with Anas platyrhynchos - mallard, also loss of preferred wooded habitats and hunting pressure (B8).

Return to top of page

Captive Populations

Reasonably represented in collections, but not particularly popular (B8).

Return to top of page

Trade

--

Return to top of page