Birda Logo
loading...
A photo of a American Black Duck (Anas rubripes), male
American Black Duck, Male

American Black Duck

Anas rubripes

The American black duck, Anas rubripes, is a robust member of the dabbling duck family Anatidae. It is the heaviest species within its genus, with an average weight ranging from 720 to 1,640 grams and a body length of 54 to 59 centimeters. Its wingspan stretches from 88 to 95 centimeters. The plumage is predominantly darker than that of the female and eclipse male mallard, which it resembles. Both sexes share a similar appearance, though the male is distinguished by a yellow bill, while the female's bill is a more subdued green with dark markings.

Identification Tips

In the field, one can identify the American black duck by its dark body and lighter brown head. The male's yellow bill contrasts with the female's duller green bill. The speculum is violet-blue with black margins, and the orange feet have dark webbing. When in flight, the white underwing linings are visible against the dark body. Juveniles are browner and streaked compared to adults.

Habitat

This species is native to eastern North America and is found in a variety of wetland habitats. These include freshwater and coastal wetlands, brackish marshes, estuaries, and areas with dense vegetation such as speckled alder.

Distribution

The American black duck breeds in regions from Saskatchewan to the Atlantic in Canada and in the Great Lakes and Adirondacks in the United States. It winters primarily in the east-central United States, especially in coastal areas.

Behaviour

The American black duck is partially migratory and exhibits a diverse range of behaviors. It is known to interbreed with the closely related mallard. The species is omnivorous, dabbling in shallow waters and grazing on land. It is also a valued game bird, known for its wariness and swift flight.

Song & Calls

Both sexes produce calls similar to the mallard, with the female emitting a loud quacking sequence that decreases in pitch.

Breeding

Breeding habitats include a variety of wetland environments. The female lays six to fourteen oval eggs in shades of white and buff green. Incubation is shared by both sexes and takes about 25 to 26 days, with the male defending the territory in the early stages. Ducklings are led by the hen to areas rich in invertebrates and vegetation.

Similar Species

The American black duck is often compared to the female mallard, but can be distinguished by its darker plumage and the male's yellow bill.

Diet and Feeding

The diet consists of wetland grasses, seeds, leaves, and root stalks of aquatic plants, as well as mollusks, snails, amphipods, insects, mussels, and small fishes. The proportion of animal food increases during winter and nesting periods.

Conservation status

The species is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN, though some populations are in decline. Conservation efforts include habitat management and protection, particularly in migratory stopover, wintering, and breeding areas.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

American Black Duck Fun Facts

Did you know?
Fossils have been found that date the American Black Duck to at least 11,000 years old.

American Black Ducks on Birda

Sightings

More Ducks, Geese, Swans

A photo of a Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) , male

Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Leonie
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Hip An
Fantastic
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vids🦉🦅
Mike T
Sense of Community
A great app, which is continually being improved. What really comes through is the passion of those behind the app. The sense of community is brilliant, so much help and support provided to new and/or in experienced birders.
Viperray5
Loving it
I really enjoy being able to interact with other birders on this platform! This seems like a great way to meet other birders and find some new spots.
David C
Very knowledgeable group
Nice friendly birding community. Very knowledgeable group with a willingness to help.
Erna M
I really like Birda
I really like Birda. I also use other birding apps and have Birda with E-bird going at the same time.
Ellesse_W
Learning Birding with Birda
I’m relatively new to birding as a hobby, and Birda is a great way to keep track off all the species I see. I’m still working on my ID skills, but the app is great for figuring out potential species, and the online community is so friendly and helpful. Definitely recommend Birda to both early and serious birders! 🐦
Jane N
A great app
Enjoying it immensely and finding it useful too. Recording the different birds and counting them is showing me how the present climate is affecting them all. I've trebled the numbers by planting native hedging. A great app.
Nicole
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❤️
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved