The Mottled Duck is a common, year-round resident of the peninsula and a rare visitor to the panhandle. It is one of only four native ducks that breed in Florida. Its appearance is similar to the American Black Duck and female Mallard, but its speculum (a bright patch on the secondary wing feathers) is blue-green rather than purple. One of the "puddle" or "dabbling" ducks, this species feeds by tipping head-first into the water for aquatic plants, seeds and invertebrates. Hybridization with feral Mallards has become an increasing problem and it is estimated that at least 5% of the population are now Mallard hybrids. This may have a severe effect on the future population of Mottled Ducks.
For more information, including a range map and sound recording, visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website.
Recommended GFBWT sites:
- Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area
- Green Cay Wetlands and Nature Center
- Lake Apopka Restoration Area: Clay Island Tract
- Orlando Wetlands Park
- Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera (Viera Wetlands)
- Sawgrass Lake Park
- Stormwater Treatment Area 5
- T. M. Goodwin Waterfowl Management Area
- The Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve
The Mottled Duck prefers freshwater wetlands, including wet prairies, marshes and impoundments.