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Anas platyrhynchos var. Arnie Schwarzenegger

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:54 am
by Rod Hobson

Last weekend I was informed of 'a Mallard and Pacific Duck hybrid' among the layabout Pacific Black Ducks at Lake Annand. On arriving on the scene it didn't take long to find the suspect, which was actually a domestic Rouen Duck. This breed is indeed very Mallard-like, in fact it was bred from the wild Mallard in France in 1902. It is now kept as a domestic duck throughout the world. The Lake Annand duck was good to reflect upon, as its body form clearly showed a lot of Mallard characteristics still retained although it was a massive duck compared to its progenitors; about a third again as large as a wild Mallard. It was easy, though, to see why it could be confused with a Mallard x Pacific Black Duck albeit one on steroids.

Almost all domestic ducks, with few exceptions such as the Muscovy, are descended from Mallard stock. Another duck that turns up around Toowoomba and causes confusion is the Khaki Campbell, which is a cross between the Rouen Duck and the Pencilled Runner. This breed was developed in England in the late 1800's by Ms. Adele Campbell.

Anyway, I don't know if this particular duck is still in residence there and I'm sure that it won't incur an influx of twitchers into the place. Nevertheless there's always something interesting going on right under your nose when you're intrigued by the natural world around you.

Rod Hobson