A Mottled Duck drake and what is probably a hybrid Mottled Duck and Mallard Duck hen was visiting the large rainfall retention basin pond here near our development yesterday at twilight. This is the same shallow water, temporary pond where I had seen the Hooded Mergansers several weeks ago.
The Mottled Ducks are similar to their cousins, the Mallards. They are dabbling ducks and eat insects, small aquatic animals, and aquatic plants. The drake Mottled Duck has a yellow bill. The female Mottled Duck should also have a yellow or yellow-green bill. The likely hybrid here had a dark bill that looks quite similar to that of a Mallard hen. The Mottled Ducks mostly live in marshes here in the South, with many of these ducks living along the Gulf of Mexico. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!