Hybrid waterfowl – Brewer’s Duck at Lindo Lake

[All photographs copyright, Gary Nunn 2014] – I spotted this male “Brewer’s Duck” (Mallard X Gadwall hybrid) at Lindo Lake on 08 March 2014. It was associating with mixed dabbling ducks on the shallow east lake. It is certainly an interesting looking interspecific hybrid. This type of hybrid duck is most famous for being painted by John James Audubon who named it in honor of his friend and fellow ornithologist Thomas Brewer. Audubon clearly suspected there might be something awry here and noted in his description the similarity of the male bird he painted to the Mallard but added “It may possibly be an accidental variety, or a hybrid between that bird and some other species, perhaps the Gadwall, to which also it bears a great resemblance”. I couldn’t agree more!

This individual appears to be a different one from another male “Brewer’s Duck” found by Bruno Struck at Santee Lakes on 29 Nov 2013. The Santee Lakes bird had larger yellow cheeks. The extent of the yellow face marking does seem to vary in this hybrid although both these examples match closely those documented elsewhere on the internet.

Brewer's Duck

“Brewer’s Duck” (hybrid Mallard X Gadwall) – Lindo Lake, Lakeside, San Diego County, California 08 March 2014

Brewer's Duck

“Brewer’s Duck” (hybrid Mallard X Gadwall) – Lindo Lake, Lakeside, San Diego County, California 08 March 2014

Brewer's Duck

“Brewer’s Duck” (hybrid Mallard X Gadwall) – Lindo Lake, Lakeside, San Diego County, California 08 March 2014

2 thoughts on “Hybrid waterfowl – Brewer’s Duck at Lindo Lake

  1. So cool! At Lake Murray, I’ve been following a duckling that has a LOT of gadwall characteristics. However, he has not gotten his full adult colors, yet, so I can’t tell if he’s a Brewer’s duck or another type of mixed breed. He’s very unusual looking, already. He has struggled with his health and survival his whole life. I’m not sure if he will make it because he’s got a few issues, still.

    I’ve been documenting him since he was a tiny fuzzy baby, so if he turns out to be a Brewer’s duck, I’ll post it in the San Diego Birding Group when I know for sure.

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