Wildlife - Species

Mottled Duck

Species Specific Regulations

Mottled duck

Licenses: Hunting License required. Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp (Federal Duck Stamp) that is validated by the hunter signing the stamp in ink across the face of the stamp

Limits: Please see Migratory Bird Regulations for any game zones restrictions or Limitations.

Complete hunting regulations.

Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula)

This large dabbling duck is similar in appearance to hen mallards and has been known to hybridize with them. The mottled duck can be distinguished from mallards by examining the borders on the bluish-green speculum. On mottled ducks the leading edge is black, while the trailing edge is white.

Average Size
Mottled ducks have an average length of 21 inches and an average weight of 2 1/4 pounds.

Mottled ducks are found mainly on the gulf coast of Mexico and the United States, and parts of the Florida Panhandle. Mottled ducks were introduced into South Carolina in the late 1970s and can be found in isolated populations along the South Carolina coast.

Preferred Habitat
Mottled ducks are the only duck adapted to breeding in southern marshes. They commonly use fresh emergent and brackish wetlands, as well as managed impoundments.


Food Habits

During the breeding season the bulk of the female's diet is made up of aquatic invertebrates. During the fall and winter months seeds of grasses, aquatic vegetation, rice, and small fish are added to the diet.


Mottled ducks are one of the earliest ducks to form pair bonds, often starting as early as August. The female constructs the nest which consists of a bowl-shaped depression in grass, lined with down and shredded grass. The hen lays 5-13 dull white to olive colored eggs.


Drakes voice is a low raspy raeb , and hens have a loud, raspy quack. Similar to mallards.

Citations, Publications and Literature

Hens Mallards, Black and Mottled Ducks - Identification Characteristics (Adobe PDF file)

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Federal Duck Stamp Office Presents: North American Waterfowl (Adobe PDF file)

Bielefeld, Ronald R., Michael G. Brasher, T. E. Moorman and P. N. Gray. 2010. Mottled Duck (Anas fulvigula), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online

Hunting Information

For more information, please see:

Species Contact

Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division
Phone: 803-734-3886