Aythya platyrhynchos x diazi
Status: Rare casual summer visitor
20 Jul 2013 photograph Clay Co
12 Nov 2019 photograph Sioux Co (Mlodinow, eBird.org)
Regarding the Sioux Co record cited above (photograph herein), observer Steven Mlodinow noted in his eBird checklist: “Too dark for MALL with tail that is too dark. However, relatively broad edges to speculum, heavy black splotching on bill, and amount of white on tail not correct for pure [Mexican Duck]. Perhaps if only one mark was off, but the combo pretty much eliminates a pure bird.”
A dark bird paired with a male Mallard 20 Jun 1993 Sioux Co and reported by Ross Silcock as an American Black Duck (“Most unusual for season and location was an Am. Black Duck in Sioux NE June 20 (RS)”; Grzybowski 1993), may have been a Mallard x Mexican Duck hybrid based on current knowledge.
It is likely as Nebraska observers become more familiar with this hybrid there will be additional reports, presumably westward. The presence of Mexican Duck (12+ records) and its hybrids with Mallard (7+ records) has been well-documented in eastern Colorado north of the Arkansas River (eBird.org, accessed Apr 2021). There are no records of Mexican Duck for Kansas or Oklahoma (Thompson et al 2011, eBird.org accessed April 2021) and only one record of the hybrid, in extreme southwestern Kansas 14 Mar 2012 (eBird.org).
Photograph (top) taken by Paul Dunbar of an apparent male Mallard x Mexican Duck (hybrid) at Harvard WPA, Clay Co 20 Jul 2013; its identification was confirmed by Steven Mlodinow.
Grzybowski, J.A. 1993. The Summer Season June 1-July 31, 1993. American Birds 47: 1122-1124.
Thompson, M.C., C.A. Ely, B. Gress, C. Otte, S.T. Patti, D. Seibel, and E.A. Young. 2011. Birds of Kansas. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.
Silcock, W.R., and J.G. Jorgensen. 2021. Mallard x Mexican Duck (hybrid) (Aythya platyrhynchos x diazi). In Birds of Nebraska — Online. www.BirdsofNebraska.org
Updated 18 Apr 2021