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The Mallard
& the
Florida Mottled Duck


printable version


Interesting Facts About the
Florida Mottled Duck


Where They are Found

The Florida mottled duck is one of a few non-migratory ducks in North America. It occurs only in peninsular Florida where it is found both on the coasts and inland. It appears to be adaptable with regard to the habitats it uses. It has been found using wetlands and related upland habitats associated with ponds, marshes, lakes, rivers, canals, ditches, mosquito impoundments, and brackish and salt-water areas on the east and west coasts.

Reproduction:

Florida mottled ducks appear to nest from February through July. The females tend to locate their nests in dense vegetation (tall grasses, rushes, or palmetto thickets) on the ground near water. Females typically lay 8-10 eggs and incubate them for approximately 26 days. Unlike such birds as the mocking bird or blue jay which raise their young in the nest for weeks, mottled duck females will move their ducklings to water within 24-48 hours of hatching.

Identification 

   The mottled duck belongs to a worldwide group of approximately 20 species of closely related ducks called the mallard complex. All the species in this complex have a similar body shape, but have varying feather characteristics and coloration that allow them to be distinguished from one another. The Florida mottled duck is easily distinguished from a male mallard. The male mallardís head has bright green iridescent coloration. Separating a mottled duck from a female mallard can be more difficult, however. The neck and head of a mottled duck are lighter buff colored than the body feathers, whereas the female mallard does not have this color pattern. Also, the female mallard has a broad, white wing bar above and below the colored portion of her wing (called the speculum). The female mottled duck lacks the upper wing bar and has a faint lower bar. Because the plumages of male and female mottled ducks are similar, the easiest way to tell them apart is by bill color. The male mottled duck has an olive green to yellow solid color bill, while the female has an orange to brown bill with dark blotches or dots.  Dots are most prevalent on the underside of the femaleís bill.  

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Mottled ducks

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A printable version (16" x 9") of the Mottled duck brochure is available:      Page 1      Page 2

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