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American Black Duck (2024)

(Anas rubripes)

(C) Jessica Ferguson

The vast majority of American Black Ducks breed in the boreal forests and wetlands of Eastern Canada, and New England. They breed in smaller numbers as far south as North. The North American Breeding Bird Survey recorded a decline of about 87% for American Black Duck in the

United States between 1966 and 2019. One reason for American Black Duck declines is competition and hybridization with the closely related Mallard. Mallards have the edge in this genetic competition and can thrive and nest in degraded habitats, often close to human activity.

Black Ducks winter primarily along the U.S. Atlantic. The primary threats to wintering Black Ducks are urbanization in coastal wintering areas and sea level rise due to climate change. The number of people living in coastal counties has nearly doubled since 1960, resulting in loss and degradation of wintering habitat and increasing disturbance to Black Ducks.

Mallard X Black Duck Hybrid (C) Dave Wagaman

Although once abundant in parts of the state, American Black Duck has experienced sharp declines in Pennsylvania. The Black Duck was confirmed in 65 percent fewer blocks in the Second PA Breeding Bird Atlas as compared to the first atlas. The American Black Duck was identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Pennsylvania’s Wildlife Action Plan (2015-2025).

(C) Denver Halterman

All About Birds Cornell Lab of Ornithology American Black Duck

American Bird Conservancy American Black Duck

ACJV American Black Duck Conservation Plan

(eBird) Birders Are Needed to Monitor Wetland Birds



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