Mottled Duck

Anas fulvigula




Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Creamy to green white

Number of Eggs:

8 - 12

Incubation Days:

25 - 27

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground, near water.

Nest Material:

Matted grass, reeds, aquatic vegetation, lined with down, breast feathers.





Mottled Duck: Medium-sized dabbling duck with dark brown mottled body, feathers usually showing distinct multi-toned chevrons, buff-brown face and unmarked neck, and darker crown and eye line. Speculum is blue-green bordered with black and very fine white bars. Bill is bright yellow; legs and feet are orange. Sexes are similar; female and juvenile are slightly paler and usually have duller, yellow-green bills.

Range and Habitat

Mottled Duck: Breeds along the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida, and has been introduced to the South Carolina coast. It is a non-migratory, year-round resident of coastal marshes, both freshwater and estuarine. Forages in rice and agricultural fields, particularly in autumn. Occasionally found inland.

Breeding and Nesting

Mottled Duck: Monogamous. Ground nest consists of scrape in dry area of marsh, usually near water. Nest built by female, concealed by surrounding vegetation, lined with down, breast feathers. Eight to twelve unmarked creamy to green white eggs. Female incubates for 25 to 27 days. Prococial young, fledge at 60 to 70 days, attended by female.

Foraging and Feeding

Mottled Duck: Dabbles in shallow marshes and ponds for mollusks, crustaceans, snails, insects, fish, seeds, and aquatic vegetation. Also feeds on grass, grain, and berries.


Mottled Duck: Call is a soft "quack", female's call louder than male's. Both male and female call similar to Mallard, but softer and less harsh overall.

Similar Species

Mottled Duck: American Black Duck is darker overall with darker face and purple speculum, and has a more northerly range. Female Mallard is lighter overall and blue speculum distinctly bordered with white. Hybridizes readily with Mallards.

The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Eye lineX
The line of feathers just in front of and behind the eyes. It extends back from the posterior angle of the eye. This can be a useful trait used in identification in the field since it is very noticeable.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
The brightly colored area on the wing (secondaries of the wing) on several duck species.
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X