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Updated January 2012!

By John A. Vance, Environmental Eng. Tech., & Outdoor Writer (Member: Outdoor Writers of Canada, et al)

Black ducks are found in both the Mississippi and Atlantic flyways, but blacks are becoming less populous in most of their ranges. The major reasons for this population decline are; loss of habitat, and secondly, because of pressure and inter breeding with mallard populations. Mallards, as already discussed in the mallard section, are a more competitive duck for breeding purposes, and this is why there are so many cross bred ducks between mallards/blacks. As I update this page in 2012 - almost 22 years since originally doing this write up, I'm glad to report that the black duck's population plunge has stopped and now is holding it's own on the big picture of things. Now, at this juncture in time, would be a good thing to adress briefly, that the good works of the people at Ducks Unlimited has really been a significant factor in the overall well being of not just ducks - but many wetland creatures - including people. If it weren't for this organization, our waterfowl would likely be in a terrible mess right now. Long live DU!

Blacks are a very wary bird, and will decoy, and even respond to calling, but if they see or hear one item out of place, they'll spook - and not even take a second look. Hunters have to be 'right-on' when hunting these birds. They are excellent table fare, and are slightly larger than mallards, but hardly noticeably. These birds will be hunted best in remote areas, but will congregate with mallards ( but usually slightly aloof from the mallards) in major staging areas. Black ducks are some of the last of the migratory puddle ducks to 'go through' an area, as compared to, say teal, which are some of the very first of the migratory birds to show up along their southerly journey.

They too( blacks), will visit grain fields, but will more often pick very remote potholes/ponds/wetlands in their wary fashion. They won't take much shooting pressure, and concentrations of blacks, if you have them in your area, will 'pull out' and head for more remote areas after being shot at relatively few times. 

In most areas of North America, the bag limit for this superlative duck is drastically reduced, owing to it's 'crashing/declining' numbers. Black's seem reluctant to successful change, and as wetlands in it's typical range decline, so may the black duck. I hope we are able to turn this sad process down, and reverse it before it is too late( see above update, 2012!). If this creature has a sad demise, hunters will likely take the brunt of the blame. Loss of habitat, and dominance for breeding range, and interbreeding by mallards are what truly decimate black's numbers - not hunting/over hunting. 

Make no mistake though - the anti-hunting faction will endeavor to get the most mileage from the MISINFORMATION that they puke out at every opportunity to unknowing persons – at least those foolish enough to give them an ear!

Please do continue to surf out your favored waterfowl species - and enjoy! - John A. Vance.

As a grassroots writer, I invite your comments/discussion on anything found on my pages!

Available 2012 – NEW Audio Cds on a number of varying outdoor topics – learn while you drive to work or anytime/anywhere! Email me for a list and pricing info. They may not be posted on my products page yet...

I need you to support me by purchasing my unique products where possible – I have to earn a living too! - John!

Author: John A. Vance
Copyright © 1998 John A. Vance. . . 

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