#469 American Black Duck – (Anas rubripes)

17 June

Interbreeds regularly and extensively with the mallard, to which it is closely related. The female lays six to fourteen oval eggs, which have smooth shells and come in varied shades of white and buff green. Hatching takes 30 days on average. Incubation usually takes 25 to 26 days, with both sexes sharing duties, although the male usually defends the territory until the female reaches the middle of her incubation period. It takes about six weeks to fledge. Once the eggs hatch, the hen leads the brood to rearing areas with abundant invertebrates and vegetation.

(* Image from Wikipedia)

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