Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Possible Black-bellied x Fulvous Whistling-Duck hybrid at Progreso Lakes, 12/28/17

This morning while perusing the 1500-2500 Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks in the Moon Lake behind our house, I got a quick look at what I thought was a Fulvous Whistling-Duck.  Fulvous being pretty uncommon this time of year, I ran back into the house for my camera and quickly relocated the duck.  Something was wrong.  It superficially looked like a Fulvous but had a pinkish tinge to the base of the bill.  The face was also more pale than the breast which had a chestnut wash which contrasted with the tawny sides and extended up onto the back and scaled the dark scapulars but not to the extent that it does on Fulvous.  There was a hint of the dark streaking that occurs on the neck of Fulvous but the pale face was more like a Black-bellied with a pale eye ring that would be absent in Fulvous.  Here's some photos.

Here's a Fulvous Whistling-Duck from Delta Lake for comparison.  Not the concolored nature of the head, breast, sides and scalloping.  This bird also lacks an eye ring.

And several from Estero Llano Grande State Park.

Hopefully tomorrow I will get some flight shots and maybe a view of the feet.

There's nothing online that I can find to indicate this combination of hybrid, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck x Fulvous Whistling-Duck, has been documented in the past.

The following day I was fortunate to get a few flight shots.

Apparently there is a reference of this hybrid pairing from a 1958 book by A.P. Gray, "Bird Hybrids: A Checklist with Bibliography".  But nothing since then. 

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