Just looking for some thoughts on what could be a Muscovy Duck x Paradise Shelduck hybrid ?
My partner, Trina Smith photographed this unusual duck at the Lowtherhurst Reserve Stormwater Pond in Massey, here in west Auckland last week. As shown in the attached two pictures, the bird could be a possible Muscovy x Paradise Shelduck hybrid, or it could just be a female Muscovy Duck that coincidentally looks very similar to a female Paradise Shelduck ?
Some points are as follows:-
(1) The limited area of bright red caruncles on the face would indicate a female Muscovy rather than a male, whilst the white head would indicate a female Paradise Shelduck.
(2) The brownish breast & flank feathers appear unusual for a Muscovy, but they are not quite the chestnut brown of a female Paradise Shelduck !
(3) Muscovy Ducks typically seem to have more white feathers & shorter legs than this bird.
(4) The bird's posture was typical of that of a Paradise Shelduck & unlike the low body carriage of Muscovy Ducks.
(5) The bird was associating with two male Mallard hybrids & was of the same size as a typical Muscovy or Paradise Shelduck.
Muscovy Ducks (at least those from domesticated origin) are certainly very variable in their plumage & this may just be one of these variations ? Also, although Muscovy Ducks often cross with Mallards, I am not aware of any records of Muscovy x Paradise Shelduck hybrids.
I would appreciate any comments on this bird.
General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Just a pied pure Muscovy duck.