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Bird name:

Black Duck

Anas rubripes




Geese and Ducks (Anatidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Lakes, Swamps, Marshes, freshwater

Breeding Type:

Monogamous, Solitary nester

Egg Colour:

Creamy white to green buff.

Number of Eggs:

6 - 12

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Scrape on the ground, constructed from leaves, grass, twigs, pine needles, and lined with down and feathers.

Nest Location:

On ground, near water.




Black Duck: Stocky, medium-sized dabbling duck with dark brown body, paler face and foreneck, and purple speculum bordered with black. Head is finely streaked; dark eyestripe is distinct. White underwings contrast with dark brown body in flight. Legs and feet are orange. Sexes are similar, but male has yellow bill while female and juvenile have olive-green bill.

Range and Habitat

Black Duck: Breeds across eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Spends winters in southern parts of its breeding range and south to the Gulf Coast, Florida, and Bermuda. Habitat includes fresh and saltwater marshes, ponds and bays. Rare vagrant to the UK and Ireland.

Breeding and Nesting

Black Duck: Six to twelve creamy-white to green-buff eggs are laid at one-day intervals and incubated by the female for an average of 28 days. The male abandons her towards the end of incubation. Usually returns to old nesting areas, building nest on the ground, typically near water, hidden in tall grass or underneath shrubs or low branches of a conifer.

Foraging and Feeding

Black Duck: Feeds mainly on seeds, aquatic vegetation, crop plants, aquatic insects, mollusks, amphibians, and crustaceans. Forages by grazing, probing, dabbling, or upending in shallow water; occasionally dives from the surface.


American Black Duck: Utters a loud, resonant "quack."

Similar Species

Black Duck: Male is unique because no mottled ducks in range have yellow bills. Female Shoveler, Teal, and Pintail are lighter and do not have orange legs.

The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the jugulum or throat patch, it is located on the front of the neck.
The brightly colored area on the wing (secondaries of the wing) on several duck species.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX