American Black Duck

Anas rubripes




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Creamy white to green buff

Number of Eggs:

6 - 12

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground, near water.

Nest Material:

Scrape on the ground, constructed from leaves, grass, twigs, pine needles, and lined with down and feathers





American Black Duck: Stocky, medium-sized dabbling duck with dark brown body, paler face and foreneck, and purple speculum bordered with black. Head is finely streaked; dark eyestripe is distinct. White underwings contrast with dark brown body in flight. Legs and feet are orange. Sexes are similar, but male has yellow bill while female and juvenile have olive-green bill.

Range and Habitat

American Black Duck: Breeds from Manitoba southeast to Minnesota, east through Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and in the forested portions of eastern Canada to northern Quebec and northern Labrador. Spends winters in southern parts of its breeding range and south to the Gulf Coast, Florida, and Bermuda.

Breeding and Nesting

American Black Duck: Six to twelve creamy white to green buff eggs are laid at one-day intervals and incubated by the female for an average of 28 days. The male abandons her towards the end of incubation. Usually returns to old nesting areas, building nest on the ground, typically near water, hidden in tall grass or underneath shrubs or low branches of a conifer.

Foraging and Feeding

American Black Duck: Feeds mainly on seeds, aquatic vegetation, crop plants, aquatic insects, mollusks, amphibians, and crustaceans. Forages by grazing, probing, dabbling, or upending in shallow water; occasionally dives from the surface.


American Black Duck: Utters a loud, resonant "quack."

Similar Species

American Black Duck: Female, immature and eclipse male Mallards are much paler, without contrast between head and body and with white borders around blue speculum. Mottled Duck has broader brown feather edges on upperparts and bluer speculum.

The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the jugulum or throat patch, it is located on the front of the neck.
The brightly colored area on the wing (secondaries of the wing) on several duck species.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X