American Black Duck – Accepted

1. 01 Feb 1911

SY male

Willows GLE



ph., MVZ 17198


American Black Duck – Not accepted, identification not established

25 Feb–03 Mar 1980


Upper Newport Bay ORA




14 Mar 1997


Cosumnes R. Preserve SAC





American Black Duck – Not accepted, natural occurrence questionable (identification established)

11 Nov 1978


vic. Wister IMP





American Black Duck – Not submitted

17 Dec 1960


Biggs BUT



McCaskie & DeBenedictis (1966), shot

? Nov 1962


Lower Klamath NWR SIS



McCaskie & DeBenedictis (1966), shot

? Sep 1963


Lower Klamath NWR SIS



McCaskie & DeBenedictis (1966), found dead


American Black Duck

AMERICAN BLACK DUCK Anas rubripes Brewster, 1902

Accepted: 1 (25%)

Treated in Appendix H: yes

Not accepted: 3

CBRC review: all records

Not submitted/reviewed: 3

Color image: none

This duck of eastern North America breeds north to the Hudson Bay area and Newfoundland, and winters across most of the United States from the eastern Great Plains (where now rare) eastward, being replaced by the Mottled Duck (A. fulvigula) between Florida and Texas. In North America, the species occurs casually to accidentally west to central Alaska, northwestern Canada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and western Texas. Elsewhere, it has been recorded in Puerto Rico, Iceland, Europe, the Azores, and Korea (an 18 June 1977 band recovery involving a male that had been captured in Virginia on 11 February 1969; Banks 1985).

Assessing the legitimacy of American Black Duck records in the West is complicated by human manipulations of this species that have long taken place west of its natural range (see, e.g., Roberson 1980). Such activities gave rise to the small populations that persist in southwestern British Columbia (Campbell et al. 1990a). A population founded by escapees in western Washington around 1970 appeared to die out during the 1990s, with extensive interbreeding with Mallards being implicated in its demise, and a small number of records from elsewhere in the state are of debatable validity (Wahl et al. 2005). The Oregon Bird Records Committee has accepted two of that state’s several records: one of a bird collected on 12 November 1950 at Summer Lake and the other of a male present from 4 January 1998 through mid December 2000 along the Hood River.

The record of a first-winter female American Black Duck collected on 1 February 1911 at Willows, Glenn County (Grinnell 1911), has withstood close scrutiny. The CBRC initially questioned the bird’s natural occurrence (Luther et al. 1979), but a later and more favorable review included information about the species’ status in captivity in 1911 and its penchant for long-distance vagrancy (Dunn 1988). Later reports have not fared as well (see also Appendix H). Observers identifying this subtly marked fowl must eliminate the similar Mottled and Mexican (A. [platyrhynchos] diazi) Ducks and should bear in mind that stocking has facilitated hybridization between American Black Ducks and Mallards (see Ankney et al. 1987). Birds believed to be of this mixed parentage were recorded at the Salton Sea in 1977 and 1997 (Patten et al. 2003).