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Thread: Need help with duck ID

  1. #1
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Default Need help with duck ID

    Little help IDing a duck, if you don't mind:

    A friend and I shot down a pair of ducks in the Palmer Hayflats on Saturday that I thought were wigeon. It's tough this time of the year when the drakes still don't have their identifying plumage in. They both had the typical coloration of dabbling ducks, the bills were shaped like a mallard's and had dark colors on top, yellow on the sides, hook on tip of top bill. The feathers of the neck and breast have a mottled, almost mosquito-body type of pattern. Dark, almost black speculum with slight iridescence, white patches on the inside trailing edge of the wings. This is why I thought they were wigeon, but in looking at photos of wigeon, it looks like the white patches on wigeon are higher up on the wing, not on the trailing edge. Also, on the top side of the wing but above the speculum, the feathers were a deep copper color. Yellow feet.

    So, any help is appreciated. I know a photo is worth a thousand words. I took one, will try to get it posted later today. Oh, and I'm looking forward to the responses saying I shouldn't duck hunt if I can't identify the ducks in the air through a fog from a mile away. That's very true. I'll stop duck hunting immediately.

    -Gr
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  2. #2

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    Sounds like a Gadwall.

  3. #3
    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    Gadwall would be my bet as well. Wigeon have a blueish bill. The bill is also much shorter than that of a Mallard. Either way good eating!

  4. #4
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    100% Gadwall...Great

  5. #5
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    Default 100% Gadwall

    ...Great job on the description.

  6. #6
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Aha! Thanks a bunch, guys. I confirmed with a Google search of gadwall images. Here is me with my duck:
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  7. #7
    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
    Aha! Thanks a bunch, guys. I confirmed with a Google search of gadwall images. Here is me with my duck:
    Good luck eating it, they're HORRIBLE. Better send it my way...

  8. #8
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DucksAndDogs View Post
    Good luck eating it, they're HORRIBLE. Better send it my way...
    That's noble of you. I do appreciate it. But, I made this bed, so I'll have to sleep in it. Somehow, I think I'll get through it (grin).

    -Gr
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  9. #9
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    No doubt about it. You shot some gadwall. We call them grey ducks down in Mississippi and Louisiana but they're the same bird! Probably early season drakes by the wing speculum description.

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Alaska doesn't have the regulations of a lot of the lower 48 states - down there you almost have to be able to tell what the bird is or don't shoot - or only shoot 2 then pick greenheads...etc.

    Up here - shoot till you get a limit then go home!

  11. #11
    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Alaska doesn't have the regulations of a lot of the lower 48 states - down there you almost have to be able to tell what the bird is or don't shoot - or only shoot 2 then pick greenheads...etc.

    Up here - shoot till you get a limit then go home!
    True, except for canvasbacks of course (1 day/3 possess - for any who don't know that). I knew this gadwall wasn't a can, though. Their bill shape is unmistakable, though I've never been lucky enough to have one cross my muzzle. But yes, I grew up in norther NY. 6 ducks a day, no more than 4 wood ducks, no more than 3 hen mallards, no more than 2 black ducks, and so on and so forth. Much nicer to keep it simple for the duck hunting. However, I hunt grouse in some areas where I'm seeing more and more ruffies, and their limit is 2. I can tell the difference once they're in my hand, but if I ever shoot two ruffies, I'm basically done for the day on grouse unless I get really close and get a really good look at them on the ground. When they flush, I just can't tell.

    -Gr
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  12. #12
    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
    I hunt grouse in some areas where I'm seeing more and more ruffies, and their limit is 2. I can tell the difference once they're in my hand, but if I ever shoot two ruffies, I'm basically done for the day on grouse unless I get really close and get a really good look at them on the ground. When they flush, I just can't tell.

    -Gr
    Give it time, you will.

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