Description from AllAboutBirds.org © Cornell Lab of Ornithology with permission
Along the Gulf of Mexico coast lives a rich brown duck with a lovely buff head and neck, a bright yellow bill, and a distinctive black spot at the gape. It’s reminiscent of a female Mallard or an American Black Duck, but this is the closely related Mottled Duck. They’re so closely related that hybridization, especially with Mallards, poses a real threat to the Mottled Duck’s future. Look for this species in pairs or small flocks, mostly in freshwater marshes near the coast.