By Charles R. Sharp, Former Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Mottled ducks nest in the fresh and brackish marshes and bays along the coast. With the increase of development along the
The grassy wetlands used for nesting also provide an abundant food supply. These dense vegetated areas hold a tremendous amount of aquatic insects, mollusks, crayfish and plant material that make up a large portion of their diet.
The mottled duck is very similar in appearance to both the mallard (Anus platyrhynchos) and the black duck (Anus rubripes). Dark, chocolate-brown plumage on its body with contrasting lighter brown coloring on its head make it very difficult to distinguish between the black duck and mottled duck. The mottled duck, although similarly colored, will be slightly lighter in color.
In recent years, the close genetic relationship between the mottled duck and the mallard has brought about another hazard to the perpetuation of the mottled duck. The mallard is a migrating waterfowl that normally returns to its breeding grounds in the prairie pothole regions of
The mottled duck, like many other waterfowl species, needs the help of this nation’s many conservation groups and outdoor enthusiasts. Great amounts of waterfowl habitat along the
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