Wednesday 13 January 2016

Mallard x Common Eider

Mallard x Common Eider hybrid, Korshage, Rørvig (Zealand, Denmark), 9th January 2011 - copyright Klaus Bjerre
(photo ID: 2591)

This is a distinctive hybrid that has occurred several times in the wild, perhaps surprisingly given the distance in their relationship.

What may be the same bird is shown below, photographed the following winter.

 Mallard x Common Eider hybrid, Gniben, Sjællands Odde (Zealand, Denmark), 11th February 2012 - copyright Jakob Engelhard
(photo IDs: 2592-2593)

A photograph showing this bird standing (thus giving a view of its belly and legs, but also of its speculum) appears here.

Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Common Eider Somateria mollissima


  1. Where I live, in Toronto we currently have a juvenile male king eider that seems to be "courting" a female mallard. Would a king eider x mallard hybrid be possible since a mallard can hybridize with a common eider?

    1. I don't know of any examples of King Eider x Mallard hybrids having ever been recorded, but I see no reason why it shouldn't be possible. Worth keeping an eye on - and if they do produce offspring be sure to get some photos and let us know!

  2. Example from Iceland:

  3. Candidate in Ayrshire, Scotland, 11 Feb 2019:

  4. Found another individual at Seahouses, UK. See