The Mexican Duck, Anas [platyrhynchos] diazi, is considered by the American Ornithological Society and the ABA to be a subspecies, but many ornithologists believe it probably warrants full-species rank. This article reviews the basic natural history and field identification of this little-known member of the ABA Area’s avifauna.
The Mexican Duck, Anas platyrhynchos diazi, was recognized as a full species (then A. diazi) until the American Ornithological Society (AOS; then AOU) merged it with the Mallard (AOU 1983), largely based on data from Hubbard (1977). However, recent genetic studies strongly suggest that the Mexican Duck should be returned to full species status. These photos are intended to provide a realistic overview of the challenge of identifying Mexican Ducks in the ABA Area.
The peeps, common slang for the five smallest North American sandpipers, tend to create more identification headaches than the rest of the shorebirds put together.
This feature is not something that is only just coming to light, nor is it related to the introduction of digital cameras, nor is it due to the internet—although the internet has enabled a more thorough understanding of it. This incredible identification feature is temporal likelihood, aka time of year.
“Soft parts” is the term given to the parts of a bird not covered by feathers, although some of these parts are not particularly “soft.”
The Fun Really Begins Here
It pays to pay attention to the often-overlooked secondary flight feathers of large soaring birds.
North American birders face a formative identification puzzle...