Operation Dethrone Mallard 2022

Dammit! I don’t think I have Mallard on my iNaturalist list!!! :) #2022Resolutions

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I’ve never observed one either, just because I don’t typically do a lot of birds, but after reading this thread I’m kind of confused about whether they are wild. I know in my area 99.9% of lakes are man-made, but it never occurred to me that some of the birds might not meet the iNat definition of wild…they can fly, so it’s not like they’re forced to stay in one park or another!

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Why would they not be wild? Sure there are captive Mallards, but any Mallard you encounter in a park will be a wild bird. It might not act very wild (they get used to people very easily) but they meet the iNat criteria to be wild.

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I think your only hope is to do some genetic studies and convince everyone that mallards are actually more than one species. Split the taxon, divide and conquer! ;P

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The Mexican Duck split (to Anas diazi) was a good start.

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My top species (5 observations each) are all moths: Halysidota tessellaris; Idia aemula; Elophila gyralis; and Complex Xestia c-nigrum. I have 15 species with 4 observations, all but 2 moths. My top bird is Mergus merganser with 3 observations. Mallard and American Black Duck check in at 2 each, 1 fewer than the hybrid of the 2.

I know a lot more about birds (and fish, and herps and mammals and vascular plants) than I know about moths. My use of iNat skews heavily toward stuff I don’t know about because I use it to learn. I mean I also try to record examples of common stuff that I see, and I’m working on a couple of small projects that involve documenting stuff like date of first observation. But mostly my observations are predicated on ignorance more than anything else.

Seems to me that’s the answer to mallard hegemony. Mobilize the armies of ignorance to spend less time on voyeuristic images of pathologically libidinous ducks and more on the puzzling, weird and humbly beautiful stuff hanging around your local riverbank, rock pile or hedgerow. iNat has opened my eyes to the wonders on display at the back porch light (and crusted on rocks). Who has time for mallards?

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some small parks seem to have pretty domestic ducks with clipped wings and such, those wouldn’t be considered wild i don’t think.

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No idea! A few people on this thread seemed sure they knew some mallards which weren’t wild, so now I’m wondering how anyone can tell.

The lake I live on doesn’t have a breeding feral domestic duck population or people who feed ducks. I have seen a few individual domestic mallards (they all look different so I can tell them apart). I don’t see them very often. There are a lot of wetland plants and islands they could be behind. But I wonder if they have a home and owners nearby and just sometimes visit here. We have wood ducks year round and ring-necked ducks in the winter every year. Occasionally I see a few blue-winged teal in the winter too.

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Except a lot of the great blue herons seem to not like to be photographed. Many times they’ve flown off when I try. Because I don’t like to disturb them, I rarely try anymore…but I will try more this year.

Canada geese live here (Pacific Northwest) year round, and while they are very cautious of people watching their young, the adult geese don’t seem to mind photographs nearly as much as herons. My husband and I respect how dutiful of parents they are. We wish more humans would be as watchful of their young as Canada geese pairs are.

American robins are not camera shy…I can certainly get more photos of them, and their broken eggs are plentiful and easy to identify in the spring.

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There’re closed ponds with birds that have clipped wings, ponds with unclipped birds, but they’re strongly tied to the spot, and ponds with part domesticated part wild-type mallards who move less than “truly wild” ones, but still don’t belong to one spot. But here mallards stopped migrating (started wintering) only about 70s, so those that don’t originate straight from breeds are quite wild-like and their behaviour hugely depends on how surroindings are behaving, it’s really how all birds live, but they’re skimmish and flying away when see you from the distance near my dacha and 2 kms away on the river where they’re frequently fed I’m sure same ducks behave like they lived with humans for the whole life.
First thing you should do is analyze what’s in front of you, how birds behave, do they fly away or fly by you at all? And look for clipped wings.

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Moreover, whatever wins is going to be just as bad in whatever way mallard is bad, and just as fine in whatever way mallards are fine. Re, only charismatic, already (over)-represented species are able to topple it anyway. You’ve probably seen it before, maybe in 3rd place, whatever will win.

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…and through 2013 the endangered western leopard toad, endemic to a small area in the Western Cape province, South Africa, held the top spot: Observations · iNaturalist

I somehow doubt we can get that one back up there…

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Out here in Montana Mallard doesn’t even crack the top 50, although I see them pretty often (I see orders of magnitude more magpies but they don’t crack the top 50 globally so they’re out). Fireweed is #1 and common yarrow is #2, and common yarrow is already the top plant globally so that might be a better bet than taraxacum, pretty wide geographical spread and easy to ID if like 99% of identifiers on this site you just ignore the whole ‘species complex’ issue completely.

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Common Yarrow is a species complex? I had no idea. What are the details?

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/1105043-Achillea-millefolium
I dunno about 99% of iders and which species are found in NA, but here it’s not ignored, those species are qite restriced geographically.

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Fair enough, I’m not an expert or anything and I really don’t know which if any of those other species are supposed to be found here. My field guide only lists a. millefolium in the state but I don’t really know if thats because the others actually aren’t found or if it just doesn’t recognize the others. But out of 64695 north american observations ID’d to the species complex or finer only 5 are to something other than a. millefolium, none of them are RG, and all appear to be CV IDs by the original observer. So my interpretation was either they aren’t found here or the issue is being systematically ignored.

I believe there should be some info somewhere on which species are introduced to US other than millefolium if they actually were introduced.

I’ve been told the complex is a European issue and everything in North America is one species.

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This is insane, absolutely the last thing I’d expect to take down the mallard in any year.

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