Unusual Duck

A very dark duck crossed the road in front of me this morning. He had peacock like feathers on top of his head. Any ideas what he was?

You’ll have to give a better description. I don’t know what you mean by “peacock-like feathers.”

The fanciest duck in North America is the Wood Duck.

He looked like he had a mohawk haircut. I presume it wasn’t a native but a fancy bird of some sort.
Here’s a crested duck , but this guy was very dark green, appearing to be black. It was light, but the sun wasn’t over the horizon yet.

Perhaps a hooded merganser?

Female Hooded Merganser

It’s probably not one, but check out the Mandarin Duck.

Could very well be the Merganser. The crest seemed to stand out from the head, like a peacock or that helmet Marvin Martin wears, but I was trying not to hit him rather than ID him. :slight_smile: I didn’t see him (or her) on the way home. Maybe I’ll see her again in the morning.

One question remains, though: why did the duck cross the road?

The O’possum told him is was safe.

The male red-breasted merganser has a dark green head, but I wouldn’t describe the bird as “black” overall.

Did you note the beak? Mergansers don’t have the flat, wide beak of your average duck; it’s narrower, more like an attenuated gull’s beak.

Could be an odd duck; we had melanistic mallard in a local lagoon for a couple years: black as a black leopard, with overlays of iridescence on the head and wings. I suppose you might have seen a melanistic merganser, but the chances of that are mighty slim. Still, not impossible. Occam’s razor suggests you keep looking though.

No, by the time I quit breaking he was safely across the road to the left and I was sort of looking over his shoulder. Er, wing. The guy on the right keeps chickens, so I hope he lives there and survived his road trip for me to see him again.

And yet another question: Unusual Duck would be a great band name, wouldn’t it?

Braking. Time to go to bed. :slight_smile:

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like this ?

He heard an echo. And no one knows why.

The crest can be raised even more than it is in the pictures jayjay and I linked to. Here’s another female Hooded Merganser with the crest raised even more. The Hooded Merganser is the native species with the largest crest.

Other crested duck species include the Wood Duck, the Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, and the rare Tufted Duck. But none of these other species have crests shaped like the one you describe.

Although it’s crested, the Red-breasted Merganser has a ragged, rather than rounded crest. It’s also more typically found on seacoasts in the US. The Hooded Merganser is a freshwater species.

Although not black, a female Hooded Merganser can look quite dark (as in the pictures linked to earlier), and might even be perceived as blackish to a hurried look.

Perhaps it wasn’t a duck, but a Cormorant? They are black and can have a crested head, I believe.

Cormorants don’t walk very well and need to live somewhere with a good supply of fish, like the ocean or a big lake.

Did it walk like a duck?