The native grey duck looks similar to the female mallard duck, and as the two species interbreed, it can be difficult to identify pure grey ducks. The grey duck’s speculum feathers (on the outside of its wing) are green – a mallard’s are blue. Hybridisation and loss of habitat have led to a decline in grey duck populations. Pure strains are most likely to be found in Northland, Waikato and Gisborne, and on the West Coast.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by C. D. Roderick
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