An American Black Duck is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify American Black Ducks. We have also put together a list of fun American Black Duck t-shirts, American Black Duck bird patches, bird houses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers and other fun bird watching items.
About American Black Ducks
It is a clever bird that hides in plain sight in the shallow wetlands of eastern North America. They move in flocks and look similar to female Mallards. The open hunting nearly drove them to extinction but hunting restrictions have improved the numbers to a stale quantity although habitat loss is still a problem.
Description and Identification
American Black Ducks are 21-23 inches in length, with a 35-37 inch long wingspan. Weighing about 1.59-3.62 pounds, these ducks are generally much heavier than other ducks in this species. The entirety of their body is dark brown, while only the head is a lighter shade of brown. They also have fleshy orange feet with dark webbing. Due to several similarities in their appearance, the males and females are generally difficult to differentiate. The only noticeable difference in their appearance is the color of their bills, the females have dull green bills with dark marks on top of
their jaws, while the males have yellow beaks. For the most part, younglings look similar in appearance to adult females. American Black ducks also look like Mallards but are distinguished by their darker coloration.
American Black Duck Color Pattern
American Black Ducks have dark brown bodies with gray heads and yellow-tipped bills. The females tend to be paler in color compared to the males, with a dull olive bill. Their underwings are white.
American Black Duck Size
They are significantly large ducks with similar profiles to Mallards with rounded heads and bulky bodies. They tend to sit high on the water surface. They are between 54 and 59 centimeters in length. They weigh 720-1640 grams and have a wingspan of 88-95 centimeters.
American Black Duck Behavior
American black ducks tip rather than dive while foraging. They also raid agricultural fields and feed on their wasted corn and grain. They eat aquatic plants, invertebrates, and on some rare occasions small fish found in shallow waters.
American Black Duck Diet
These ducks are omnivores who have a very diverse diet. They feed by grazing on fields and dabbling in shallow water bodies. American Black ducks change their diets seasonally, consuming around 20% animal food and 80% plant food during breeding season, and around 85% animal food during winter to stay warm. Their animal diet consists of snails, insects, fish, and mollusks. Whereas their plant diet includes a variety of grasses, seeds, stems, and the roots of aquatic
plants such as smartweeds and pondweeds. The younglings eat a variety of invertebrates for nutrition for a period of 12 days after hatching. These may include, larvae, beetles, dragonflies, mayflies, snow bugs, and snails.
They mostly eat plants and insects during the breeding season. During the breeding season, their diet is high on animal food including insects such as larvae, dragonflies, and beetles. American Black ducks usually forage alone or with their mates. During migration, they feed mainly on seeds and tubers of aquatic plants.
American Black Duck Habitat
Their breeding habitat is mostly in freshwater wetlands in northeastern North America. This includes wooded swamps, brackish marshes, beaver ponds, shallow lakes with sedges and reeds, and the corners of backwater ponds lined by alder. In Winter, they usually inhabit brackish marshes, agricultural fields, and riverine areas. These birds are regularly hunted for game, therefore they frequently need to take shelter by relocating to fresh and brackish confinements on
American Black Ducks nest on wetlands from freshwater marshes to saltwater marshes. They migrate during winter they forage in ponds and bays
Range and Migration
American Black ducks, endemic to eastern North America, were the most commonly found ducks in this continent in the 1950s. They range from northeastern Saskatchewan to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. In America, they are found in South Dakota, Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, and North Carolina. Occasionally, vagrant American Black Ducks have been spotted on the West Coast, Europe, and as far as Asia. American Black Ducks breeding in the north are long-distance migrants, whereas the Ducks in the southern range only migrate for short distances. These Ducks usually migrate during the nights.
American Black Duck Lifecycle
The female duck selects a well-hidden site on the ground of grassy islands. Afterward, she solely builds her nest digging using her feet and bill. She lays 6 to 14 eggs in a single breeding season and incubates them for 23 to 33 days.
American Black Duck Nesting
American Black ducks usually form pairs in autumn and travel together towards their nesting site. Their nesting site is situated approximately a mile away from their previous habitats; generally on small islands or banks. Nests are built by the females on a well-concealed site with a small depression in the ground, usually dug up by her own feet. Sometimes, nests can also be in hollows or cavities of trees. Following an incubation period of 23-33 days, the females lay 6-14 eggs. American Black Ducks only raise one brood per year.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At the Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
- Kids Bird Watching Monthly Subscription$10.00 / month
- Kid & Adult Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription$10.00 / month and a $72.00 sign-up fee
- Kids Bird Watching Starter Pack Subscription$10.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying American Black Ducks
The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing American Black Ducks are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
- Birding Binoculars$49.99
- Kids Binoculars$13.99
American Black Duck T-shirts
If you love the American Black Duck you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
American Black Duck Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The American Black Duck is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
- American Black Duck Iron On Patch$2.99
- Bird Banner$10.99
American Black Duck Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the American Black Duck. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders For American Black Ducks
There are many types of bird feeders. Bird feeders are a great addition to your backyard. Bird feeders will increase the chances of attracting birds drastically. Both kids and adults will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. There are a wide variety of bird feeders on the market and it is important to find the best fit for you and your backyard.
Best Bird Houses for American Black Duck
There are many types of bird houses. Building a bird house is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 bird houses have become our favorites. Getting a bird house for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these bird houses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.