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Brown Ducks I cannot identify

 
Michael Bradley
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I spotted these two several years ago near my home in NE Illinois.  In 51 years here I have never seen anything but Mallards until, and this time.

It's possible they escaped from a small nearby suburban farm.

They have similar bits on their beaks to Muscovy's, but clearly aren't Muscovy's unless they're a hybrid.

Any ideas on what type of duck these two are?



 
Tyler Ludens
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I've been looking and looking at pics of ducks and can't find anything remotely similar.  Best guess is they are sterile hybrid offspring of Muscovy and somebody else...

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Muscovy_Duck/overview
 
Beth Johnson
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Thanks for the pictures, Michael. I'm of no help, but it's cool that you shared the pics and helped expand my knowledge. :)

@Tyler: Thank you for that link! I've bookmarked The Cornell Lab of Ornithology page, and I'm about to take a dive down that rabbit hole.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I encourage you to join the Cornell Bird Lab.  They are very helpful.

 
D Nikolls
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I have seen Muscovy crosses that look like these, but damned if I can remember what they were crossed with...
 
Tyler Ludens
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Maybe Orpington?



https://www.thecapecoop.com/great-backyard-duck-breeds/
 
Michael Bradley
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Maybe Orpington?



https://www.thecapecoop.com/great-backyard-duck-breeds/



I think I saw that one in the Google search.  Would we get a darker brown bird from a Muscovy and an Orpington?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I couldn't find a kind with a darker reddish brown.

More info about confusing ducks:  https://www.birds.cornell.edu/crows/domducks.htm
 
Beth Johnson
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Michael Bradley wrote:

Tyler Ludens wrote:Maybe Orpington?



https://www.thecapecoop.com/great-backyard-duck-breeds/



I think I saw that one in the Google search.  Would we get a darker brown bird from a Muscovy and an Orpington?



I think it depends on the dominant and recessive genes of the breed.

Muscovy Genetics

Backyard Chickens: Understanding Basic Colour Genetics (Mallards/Derivatives) (made my heard hurt).

Dave Holderread also did research on alleles and their affect on duck color (it's in Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, and I can't find the study online). I have Cascade ducks from Holderread that are sex-linked; basically if I breed a drake with another breed, the ducks will be sexed at birth by bill color.

I think Oregon State did a study as well, but I just got off from work and my brain is mushing. I'll check when I've decompressed (today I hate my job), because I usually nerd out on this stuff.



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