Birding in British Columbia

A starting place for birding information for British Columbia, Canada. This web site features a birders discussion forum, links to birding newsgroups, articles and book reviews, checklists, regional hotspots, photo gallery, weather reports, and visiting birder information.
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 Post subject: What kind of ducklings?
PostPosted: May 03 7:03 am 
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Location: Langley, B.C.
At Brydon Lagoon in Langley last weekend I saw my first ducklings of the season. Mom was a Mallard with 6 little ones, while one little one was the typical Mallard patterning the other 5 were all yellow with a black stripe on their head. I spent some time on the internet couldn't find much on duckling descriptions. Wondering if these are in fact Mallard ducklings? If not what are they?

ImageMallard - 094A3991c1c by Sue Coastal Observer, on Flickr

ImageMallard - 094A3943a2c by Sue Coastal Observer, on Flickr

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Sue
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 Post subject: Re: What kind of ducklings?
PostPosted: May 03 11:54 am 
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Looks like American Wigeon chicks, maybe the female Mallard picked up the Wigeon chicks or the chicks are hybrids as that happens often!

The other theory is a lot of mallards have some genes from domestic ducks in them due to farmyard escapes over the years diluting the gene pool.

Possibly be a genetic throwback of a domestic duck.

Many ducks adopt other species chicks that hang with the new mother.

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of ducklings?
PostPosted: May 03 5:52 pm 
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Thanks Rob, I'll try to stop in to Brydon every now and then and update this thread. Not many of the ducklings seem to survive at Brydon though, hoping to see some of them grow up.

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of ducklings?
PostPosted: May 10 2:09 am 
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I went to Brydon today (first time) and there were two Mallard families with yellow ducklings. One is the brood of 6 you observed, the other was a brood of 4 with one yellow duckling. I couldn't get a clear view of this family while the brood of 6 came close by at one point.

I think maybe the parents carried a leucistic allele. The mother seems slightly different from mallards I usually see - a bit more yellow around the face and maybe slightly more stockily built (the latter I am not sure of since it can vary a lot with posture)

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 Post subject: Re: What kind of ducklings?
PostPosted: May 11 1:27 am 
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Here's some photos from Tuesday (May 9)

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I only managed to get one shot of the other family. They were far away and I didn't see them again. (ducklings seem to hide a lot more than some other places I've been like Green Timbers)
Image

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