Mottled Duck

If there’s a duck equivalent for the poster child for Gulf Coast restoration, it’s the mottled duck. While the mottled duck can be confused with American black ducks, the mottled is slightly lighter and its blue to green iridescent wing patches differ and are rimmed with black. The bill of the drake is solid yellow, while the hen has more of a yellow orangish tint with black spots. If there isn’t a reversal of coastal land lost, the days of mottled ducks on hunter’s straps are coming to an end.

  • Habitat: They are year-round coastal residents from Florida to Mexico, but the Western Gulf population of Louisiana and Texas is the largest. Population levels are tied closely to the health of coastal marshes and have trended down in recent years as the coast has eroded and saltwater has crept inland.
  • Interesting Fact: According to Audubon Louisiana, “Hunters who wish to help can support local, state, and federal wetland restoration funding programs which contribute to coastal wetland restoration. That, in turn, benefits not only mottled ducks but a number of additional game and non-game species of conservation concern.”