Sunday, 24 February 2019

Pintail x Mallard hybrid

Last week I found a hybrid Pintail x Mallard but only had poor long range views and correspondingly awful photos. The bird was luckily subsequently relocated close to the Opera building on the waterfront in Oslo and I was able to see it and take better photos yesterday. This is only the second time I have seen this hybrid after having found a different (based on plumage) male last spring although have seen what was likely a female of this hybrid combo and I find it very interesting to study such hybrids.

The bird was associating with urban Mallards which suggests to me that its mother (rather than father) was a Mallard as duckling are raised by their mother and would therefore learn from their mother. Østensjøvannet has had a female Pintail in winter residence for a number of years but by my logic she would not be the mother but there was a male that wintered in Oslo 2016/17 and this could well be the father as I assume he would have at least tried his luck with one of the female Mallards he was associating with.

the bill markings alone are a pretty good indication of the parentage
here the broad white neck collar going up at the back and the long tail are also signs of Pintail but the bird does mostly resemble a Mallard

here it can be compared with 2 Mallards where the difference in bill colour, leg colour, bill shape, head colour and breast colour can be seen

the long tertial feathers are also a sign of Pintail

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