Saturday, 7 March 2015

Northern Pintail x Tufted Duck

possible Northern Pintail x Tufted Duck hybrid, Leathes Ham, Lowestoft (Suffolk, UK), 3rd March 2012 - copyright Andrew Easton
(photo ID: 2041)


Drake Anas x Aythya hybrids are tricky enough and we really struggle with the females.  Hopefully in time with more examples to study we'll get more confident but at the moment I think the 'possible' qualifier is needed here.  Having said that as Andy points out the broad white trailing edge to a rather plain brown speculum (shown in his photo below) would appear to be a strong pointer to Pintail being one of the parents.  Both the bill pattern and the colour under the tail have been suggested as indicators of Pintail parentage but we have seen these features on hybrid wildfowl where neither parent species show them, so this may not be the case.

Many of the ducks at this site have been released for shooting so that is the likely origin for this hybrid.  As can be seen below it mainly associates with Pintail.





 possible Northern Pintail x Tufted Duck hybrid (same bird as in photo ID 2041 above; with Northern Pintails), Leathes Ham, Lowestoft (Suffolk, UK), 3rd March 2012 - copyright Andrew Easton
(photo IDs: 2042-2044)




possible Northern Pintail x Tufted Duck hybrid, Leathes Ham, Lowestoft (Suffolk, UK), 20th January 2012 - copyright Andrew Easton
(photo IDs: 2045-2047)


Northern Pintail Anas acuta
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula

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