Requesting assistance identifying duck at Santa Margarita Lake


anneceecee1@...
 

I am an amateur photographer who has developed a fairly recent interest in birds. I am new to this group but have been posting observations to iNaturalist for about a year and a half. (As a side note, I just started learning about eBird, but think iNaturalist MIGHT be a better fit for me, since my bird photography is usually connected to other activities and I most enjoy finding new species and learning about them.)

While at Santa Margarita Lake this week, I spotted and photographed a bird which I have been unable to identify using Merlin or Google image search. It looked very much like a Ruddy Duck in size and attributes but was very black (with dark eyes and dark bill), but with white under its tail. I only saw it on the water at quite a distance (thus my photos of it aren't great), so I don't know if it had any other white on its body. This is my first post, and I apologize in advance if there's anything I'm leaving out. 

 


Tom Edell
 

Hi Anneceecee,

 

Your bird is a melanistic Rudy Duck. My experience is that this is a fairly rare occurrence as I’ve only seen one that I can recall, a bird at Ocean Park in Santa Barbara County. A poor photo of that bird can be seen here that makes you photos look great!

 

The only thing you left off your post was your name and location – as requested by the list owner.  See slocobirding@groups.io | Home .

 

Tom Edell

Cayucos, CA

 

From: slocobirding@groups.io <slocobirding@groups.io> On Behalf Of anneceecee1@...
Sent: Friday, May 6, 2022 2:12 PM
To: slocobirding@groups.io
Subject: [slocobirding] Requesting assistance identifying duck at Santa Margarita Lake

 

I am an amateur photographer who has developed a fairly recent interest in birds. I am new to this group but have been posting observations to iNaturalist for about a year and a half. (As a side note, I just started learning about eBird, but think iNaturalist MIGHT be a better fit for me, since my bird photography is usually connected to other activities and I most enjoy finding new species and learning about them.)

While at Santa Margarita Lake this week, I spotted and photographed a bird which I have been unable to identify using Merlin or Google image search. It looked very much like a Ruddy Duck in size and attributes but was very black (with dark eyes and dark bill), but with white under its tail. I only saw it on the water at quite a distance (thus my photos of it aren't great), so I don't know if it had any other white on its body. This is my first post, and I apologize in advance if there's anything I'm leaving out. 

 


--

Tom Edell
Cayucos, CA


anneceecee1@...
 


Thanks so much, Tom! (Also to Kaaren for your response too.) I really appreciate the ID, as I was totally stumped! Now I need to read up on melanism. (That's one of the things I'm loving about bird photography; it leads me to all sorts of interesting information!)

And, I apologize for neglecting to include my name and location on my original post. (I have no idea how I missed those bold red letters requesting that!)

Anne Collins
Atascadero, CA