Why do we see so many kinds of hybrid duck and geese? 

Mallard x Pintail, Mallard x American Wigeon, and Mallard Gadwall hybrids are regular, and Gadwall x Green-wing Teal hybrids are shot every season. The list goes on and on…. 

Wild hybrids between distinct species are more common in waterfowl than in other groups of birds. Nonetheless, hybrid ducks and geese are rare enough that assembling a sample for scientific study is impossible without the cooperation of hunters. Crowdsourcing through North American hunters seems like the only way to study their origin and, thus, to understand why hybrids are reported between so many species combinations of waterfowl. Thus our plea that hunters who have shot a hybrid consider donating it to this study (see sidebar to the left).

We are NOT currently interested in Mallard x black hybrids. Here's why.

But we are interested in any other wild-taken hybrid ducks and geese.  We are also keen to receive blue-phased Ross's Geese, which may be hybrids between blue-phased Snow Geese and normally white Ross's Geese. These would be especially valuable if they were intermediate in size between Lesser Snow Geese and Ross's Geese, suggesting they might be F1 hybrids.