Mottled Duck: Medium dabbling duck with dark brown mottled body, feathers usually show distinct multi-toned chevrons, buff-brown face and unmarked neck, darker crown and eye line. Speculum is blue-green bordered with black and fine white bars. Bill is bright yellow; legs and feet are orange.
Range and Habitat
Mottled Duck: Breeds from Texas to Florida, introduced to South Carolina coast. Non-migratory, year-round resident of coastal marshes, both freshwater and estuarine. Forages in rice and agricultural fields, particularly in autumn. Occasionally found inland.
The Floridan population is separated as the nominate subspecies Anas fulvigula fulvigula and is occasionally called the Florida Duck or Florida Mallard.
The only duck adapted to breeding in southern marshes, the Mottled Duck is a relative of the Mallard. It is in danger of being displaced by introduced Mallards, primarily because of hybridization.
Until recently, no other duck of the genus Anas nested in these marshes, and the distinctive male plumage was gradually lost. After thousands of years of evolutionary change, the two sexes are colored alike.
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.