American Black Duck
Anas rubripes

f9 @ 1/250s, ISO:1000, Nikon D3S w 500mm and 1.7X tele-extender

"American Black Duck," Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The black duck has long been valued as a game bird, being extremely wary and fast on the wing. Although this is a species of least concern, it is slowly declining due to habitat destruction. Some conservationists consider the hybridization and competition with the mallard an additional source of concern, should this decline continue. The hybridization itself is not the major problem; natural selection will see to that the best-adapted individuals still have the most offspring. But the reduced viability of female hybrids will cause many broods to fail in the long run as the offspring die before reproducing themselves. While this is not a problem in the plentiful mallard, it will place an additional strain on the American black duck's population. Recent research conducted for the Delta Waterfowl Foundation, is that hybrids are a result of forced copulations, and not a normal pairing choice by black hens.
Salt Pond, Falmouth, Massachusetts