The Mottled duck is a year round resident of Florida and can be seen in wetlands including marshes, wet prairies and lakes. I saw this duck along with a few others swimming during the evening in the ten mile canal in Ft. Myers. They are dark in color with a lighter colored head and neck. They are primarily vegetarians but they also eat snails, insects, mollusks, and small fish. The Mottled duck is prized as a game bird for hunters. They have been in Florida for thousands of years. They nest on the edge of canals, marshes and wetlands in tall grass and palmetto thickets on the ground. Their litter consists of 8-10 eggs which take about 25-27 days to hatch. Once they hatch, their mother takes them out into the water and begins swimming in 1-2 days. One of the dangers to Mottled ducks is the large number of feral Mallard ducks who they breed with and produce hybridized ducks and not pure bred Mottled ducks. The Fish and Wildlife Commission has some excellent pictures and information about this bird.
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