Behavioral and ecological factors contributing to American black duck- mallard hybridization.

L. M. Brodsky, P. J. Weatherhead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Investigation of courtship and pair formation of a wintering population of American black ducks Anas rubripes and mallards A. platyrhynchos indicated that initially drakes of both species exclusively courted and paired intraspecifically. After all female mallards had paired, the remaining mallard drakes joined black duck courtship groups. Of the 33 unpaired black duck females remaining at this time, only 27% formed intraspecfic pairs, whereas 73% selected mallard drakes as mates, despite there being an excess of black duck drakes. Black duck-mallard hybridization involves ecological factors probably, including the male-biased sex ratio in northern wintering populations, artificial feeding, and roost-site limitation. Other behavioral aspects, such as the earlier pair formation in mallards and the superiority exhibited by mallard drakes when competing for black duck females are discussed. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-852
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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