Mallard and Guck
What do you get when you cross a duck and a goose? Unfortunately this isn't a joke. What the guck do you think it is? I have seen these "duck-goose" hybrid animals walking around the neighborhood, and I have become extremely concerned.
O.K. maybe it is actually some kind of duck that I haven't been able to identify, but let's assume it is a goose duck mix until otherwise identified. I am not totally sure of my discovery of a new species, so if there are any ornithologists out there who can put my mind at ease and identify this mysterious creature, please do so in the comment section. Until then I have decided that this creature will be called a "Guck."
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Naming of the Guck
It all started when I watched Napoleon Dynamite and heard of a creature called a Liger which is a cross between a lion and a tiger, "bread for their abilities in magic" according to Napoleon Dynamite. Then recently, I noticed some strange looking ducks walking around the neighborhood. They are slightly larger than a duck, with a white chest, and a green head.
Now as far as I know, Indianapolis isn't known to have a great variety of types of ducks. I usually see mallards; the females look mostly brown and the males have green heads and mostly grey and brown bodies.
Just to give myself some credibility I have had several ducks as pets growing up, so I am familiar with what most ducks look like. I finally was able to snap off a couple of pictures to back up my crazy story, and to try to seek some kind of knowledge from the experts. I have done web research and none of the ducks that frequent Indiana look like these guys.
Now I am blowing the whistle on the whole conspiracy and forcing the guck to come out. Maybe I shouldn't say that the guck is coming out. It's not a gay duck; it's a goose-duck. In case you are confused the "g" comes from goose. When I was a kid I saw what looked like a chicken-duck at the park. Possible names for that creature are chuck and dicken.
History of the Guck
Until now, ducks and geese have lived fairly harmoniously together in this world. In fact we now have evidence that they may have gotten a little too friendly. Lately the ducks and geese have not been migrating to Canada anymore, giving them more time to be "friendly" with each other in the long cold Indiana winter months, when they aren't busy crapping all over our yards.. Apparently one thing led to another.
Some duck and goose hooked up because they were lonely and didn't really think the whole thing through. After all, it's not their fault that their brains are the size of an almond. And as innocent as their intentions of keeping warm were, we now have to deal with all sorts of moral and ethical dilemmas.
Guck Concern # 1: Blurring of the lines
Conflicts have occurred throughout history between differing species of animals. Sometimes this is due to territorial issues, competition, or one simply tastes good to the other. So far I know of none that are due to species-ism, or prejudice against another species. I am concerned that this will soon follow in the water foul realm.
What box would a guck check for species? Most official forms and documents have not yet added "guck" as an official species, so gucks must choose one of the other less descriptive boxes. The 'other' box doesn't seem appropriate either. Where will these gucks fit in the food chain or water cycle, and even more important questions arise such as: When gucks get cold do they get guck bumps? Will water roll off of a guck's back? Will preschool children have to start playing a new multicultural version game called Duck Guck Goose?
Guck Concern # 2: Guck in the Dictionary
How long will it take to get the term "guck" in the dictionary? More important is what will it mean. We already have the blending of a duck and goose meaning. Then as some words become verbs also, the verb "to guck" will also develop. Think about Google and the act of googling. "Guck it" is just as probable to become a popular phrase as "google it."
Both the words duck and goose have verb meanings. If we blend these two meanings we get, "Poking the butt by lowering the head quickly." This sounds like it could be the next big dance move. "Do the guck! Do the guck!"
What will be the plural form of guck. It could either be gucks or geeks. And if it is geeks, then will school kids still want to call each other geeks. The meaning of computer geek would change dramatically. Oh, guck it! Who gives a guck!
Guck Concern #3: Poaching Gucks
Let's say you are out hunting in duck season. Even if you have bought your license and duck stamp, you could easily accidentally shoot a guck. They look so much like ducks, it would be easy to mistake them. Would this be against the law? The Fish and Wildlife Service and DNR need to address the issue immediately. Canadian Geese are federally protected species, so where do we draw the line. Are gucks protected, or should the DNR list them as pests and let people shoot as many as possible to keep the numbers down. I am sure that will never happen, since we are still waiting on the government to let us get rid of all the geese.
Guck Concern #4: Guck Evolution
From an evolutionary standpoint, the Guck may be the future of all waterfowl. The guck may be more likely to pass on its genes. Just as Napoleon's Liger, the guck also has magic powers, which is to guck, a lot. I caught the guck in an awkward moment a couple times. If nothing else I guess it may be less likely to be shot for the legal reasons already mentioned.
- Are gucks an act of terror?
- Are these curious animals good for America?
- Are they good for the environment?
- Are they natural or lab created?
- Will they taste good?
- Are they cheap to produce?
- Will they make me skinny if that's all I eat?
- Can we buy organic gucks?
These are the important questions we must ask ourselves when faced with something so ambiguous that it shakes our faith in intelligent evolution. I do have faith in one thing. I bet if I ate one for dinner, it would taste good. I would say it tastes like chicken nuggets, and then I would start asking for guck nuggets at McDonald's. Then I would throw a fit when they give me just plain old chicken nuggets. Do you hear me Ronald? You creepy clown.
Oh yeah, and these gucks are probably just domestic and wild duck mixes. It was fun to think of them as gucks though.
Drake Runner from Virginia on June 22, 2017:
Lol, your story is funny as "guck"!
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on July 10, 2015:
That's cool! Come back and let us know what happens.
ina on July 10, 2015:
I have a mallard duck and a male goose and they are inceperable as we speak she is sitting on a whole bunch of eggs...We will see!
Eduardo Grijalva on November 11, 2014:
It is possible to form hybrids between duck and goose, but not any duck intersects any goose. Complete information about which hybrids can get is located on the website http://www.bird-hybrids.com/
Debra on December 10, 2013:
I have a GUCK on my pond at this very moment!
It is a cross between a pekin duck and canada goose. It has a pekin head, canada goose body with beautiful white feathers highlighting the dark grey/black, orange legs and duck feet. GORGEOUS! It hangs out with my Pekins as well as my domestic goose Elmer who calls to his Canada geese friends and they fly in to our pond. Low and behold this little Guck flew in with the other Canada Geese and it flys out with them at night. It has no problem flying high as the body again is that of the canada goose. Wow...it is one of the most beautiful birds I have ever had visit my pond.
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on July 24, 2013:
Thanks for stopping by and letting us know that it isn't possible to have a guck. I think they are a little like unicorns, people just want to believe because they are so neat.
Mark on July 24, 2013:
Interesting, however in college biology I recall learning that due to chromosomal differences a duck and a goose (while capable of mating) could not produce viable offspring. These seem more likely the result of cross-breeding ducks, which is sometimes seen.
Cindy on February 15, 2013:
I found your article after going to a local park in North Texas and seeing a flock of Canadian geese, but some of them had green heads just like mallard ducks. I have never seen any Canadian geese that have green heads (they are black, white, and brown). They were all in one flock, and Canadian geese are known to seasonally inhabit that park as well as pure mallard ducks. I was wondering if the hybrids would be able to migrate (fly the distance) with the flock of geese, since mallards do not migrate as far as I know. Try the "Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World" by Eugene M. McCarthy. Also, I have seen many reports of wild bird hybrids and mammal hybrids. In Texas, the red wolf population was decimated due to shrinking habitat as well as ranchers shooting them to protect their livestock. Then they started mating with coyotes, and have been absorbed by the coyote type of canine. Lately, I have seen a sparrow type bird among a flock of sparrows with a redorange head and back. The world has become more integrated, and humans of different races are genetically re-integrating as well as birds and mammals.
David on July 04, 2012:
I live in an apartment with two lakes and had the joy of watching a guck for about 2 years and to my amazement Doose The Duck Goose was not racist in fact he would hang out with both the geese and the ducks where the full bred geese and ducks didn't do this , I was so astonished by this I wrote a childrens book called Doose The Duck Goose which helps young kids realize its not what you are on the outside but who you are on the inside.
firstname.lastname@example.org on June 12, 2012:
I recently saw 2 "Gucks" in Lake Junaluska in Western NC. The ones I saw were as large as a Canadian Goose and had the body of a goose with the typical Canadian Goose markings. The neck and head were white like a white duck or maybe a swan. It had an orage beak like a duck and it had orange feet like a duck instead of a black beak and black feet of a goose. The other geese and ducks that were around didn't seem to mind it being with them. What would this be if not a "Guck"?
Becca Cox McCoy on June 10, 2012:
YES Gucks ARE real. Anyone saying otherwise doesn't know what they are talking about AT ALL. I took this picture recently of one http://i.imgur.com/0KvjX.jpg
meb on May 31, 2012:
We call them "deese"and have both male and females on the property. I live in Fishers, IN in an apartment complex with 2 large ponds and many Mallards and many geese. They are all pretty friendly and the ducks, geese and deese often come right up to our patio and much on the fallen bird seed. I agree they are probably sterile as we see many families of ducks and geese being raised here, each year. If someone needs to verify the existence of them, it should be very easy. Hope this helps a bit.
4 H bird man on April 19, 2012:
NO.1 geese and ducks can not breed together. Unless some genitics where done by a made DR. Next any duck breed will breed with a mallard since all ducks breeds arrive and blood lines started from Mallards except for Mascovey . They are all by them self and are one ugly duck .They are not suppose to breed with other breeds .But they are frisky little devils. And there has been 2 times I have seen these two make a little one. And that is what I feel you have .The colors and what the bill looks like sounds like A jack***. These ducks are very good fliers and Thrive .There is trouble across the US . of these little trouble makers taking over water ways and ponds , after they escape farmers and bird raisers . A goose may take up friend ship and mate with a duck but the all I have never seen it became no more than fried in a pan.
What most of you are saying is the same as saying a Robin can breed with a Crow A ROBOW daaaaa
Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 11, 2012:
A duck and a goose can mate, certainly, but breeding is another story. The chromosomes are too different. This bird looks like some sort of domestic cross.
BIRDMAN on December 20, 2011:
its called a bibbed domestic mallard
Noah on December 06, 2011:
Looks like a mix between a bufflehead and a mallard drake. Oh and geese are allowed to be hunted I shot them almost every weekend
Elizabeth on November 14, 2011:
I THINK ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. NATURE DOES WHAT IT WANTS. ANIMALS BRED WITH OTHER SPECIES. SO GUCKS CAN EXIST. SOME PEOPLE ARENT AS OPEN MINDED AS OTHERS.
vic98 on November 04, 2011:
I'd be willing to bet money that it's a cross between a mallard and a swedish duck. They look very similar except for the coloring and the two kinds of duck are often found together. I have personally raised swedish ducks and mallards together. Although the swedish duck I have now has been grouping with wild Canadian geese at our pond, so I wonder if there may be some real gucks in the future.
Andrew crosby on October 31, 2011:
This is Not a duck cross goose it is a pure duck
Steve on October 06, 2011:
What you call a guck just looks like a drake that came from a cross between a Mallard and a Swedish duck, which is a breed that spun off from the wild mallard. I've seen these mixes around my area as well, and they hang out with the mallard flock because they are mallards. If you raised ducks or geese as I have, I hope you will remember that they are trusting, innocent creatures that have to survive great odds just to reach the fledgling stage. They deserve our care and compassion. Developers are paving over their habitats, and they are becoming displaced--that's why you see them more in suburbia. Try finding out how you can help restore their real habitats, instead of hating these gentle creatures.
lundmusik from Tucson AZ on August 30, 2011:
so i think the tribe of the fallen rock would have the answers here, don't you tsadjatko?
The Logician from now on on August 30, 2011:
Mallards and geese never cross mate in nature and there is no reliable evidence of goose duck hybrids - what you have probably seen are varieties of Indian Runners an unusual breed of domestic duck or maybe “manky mallards"
And lundmusik, you know there is no such thing as a goose loon hybrid except maybe in the agencies of your deer crossing parody, or is it a satire? I get them confused. :-)
lundmusik from Tucson AZ on August 28, 2011:
I know that in the Northwest mating between geese and loons was common,,,local wildlife experts weren't too concerned about it because the offspring were infertile. Anyway, they could never come up with a name, even though they had a number of local input forums and contests,,, I guess because none of the names were that flattering, like who would ever want to be called a loose or a luck, or especially a goon. I guess it never came to anything because they're pretty well hunted out..
In the same vein, i'm so thankful that the Obama administration has taken the issue of Nationwide deer crossings seriously. See my article on that subject.
Sooly on August 20, 2011:
Just ate Mullard. Which is an Israeli crossbeeding of duck and goose. Tastes unbelievable. The chest is eaten as its the fattiest and tastiest part.
Anonymous on June 28, 2011:
The Ducks look very normal, i do not think it is a guck or interbreeding at all
Dave Little on May 13, 2011:
*Can you please post photos of a Guck and a male Mallard that are at least 1MB or larger in size?
Dave Little on May 13, 2011:
It looks like a guck has a sharper beak than a duck, and that trait it must get from the parent of the guck that is a goose, so that proves that it is a hybrid of a duck (male Mallard) and a goose (There is no telling which species of goose, but the goose is definitely a female in oder to be interbreeding with a male Mallard (duck).). Can you please post pics a Guck and a male Mallard that are at least 1MB or larger in size?
samuraipoet from Fayeteville Arkansas on September 10, 2010:
Awesome hub. Loved it :-)
Mr. Toad on July 27, 2010:
Are you sure they're not just Rouen Ducks?
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on June 17, 2010:
Awesome, and let me know the link, so I can link to it.
Drake Studman on June 17, 2010:
I'll be able to see for myself if this is true or not, as I have a cantankerous duck and a pain in the butt gander caged up. She went broody on eggs while she was confined with the goose, so I guess I'll have to see if anything hatches. I'll post pictures if anything happens.
SiletzChick on April 29, 2010:
Ducks and Geese do breed or mate, I have seen our male duck breeding our Sebastopol Goose many times. Can their eggs be hatched and the chicks live? I am wondering that very thing. My guess would be no, or we would see many more Guck like birds in the parks and in the wild, but I could be wrong.....
Anonymous on April 29, 2010:
I go to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and we have a "guck". He is a gray color on top and has a white belly. He has an orange beak and orange feet and his neck is very thick.
ducky on April 27, 2010:
Ummm...those ducks looked nothing like a cross breed at all. I live on a lake and those are just normal ducks...or mallards. A goose is HUGE and it just looks like a male duck.
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on March 17, 2010:
I can't say I'm surprised. What drake wouldn't want a lady goose with a nice long neck. Let us know if there are babies.
Alfred Dunkley on March 17, 2010:
not too long ago we purchased a drake and hen, both ducks. the hen was taken by a fox. after two weeks a neighboring hen goose heard the constant calls from our drake and joined him on the pond. They are inseparable and we have seen them trying to mate. the goose is much larger than he is. she layed a cluth of eggs once, shortly after showing up. we just witnessed the attempted mating yesterday.
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on January 31, 2010:
You are probably right. I just wanted to share this strange mix, and thought it would be more interesting if I supposed it was part duck part goose. It is probably actually a white pecan and mallard mix.
Craig on January 31, 2010:
Ducks and geese don't interbreed.
I'm pretty sure they can't. What you have is a cross between a domestic duck and a mallard. Domestic ducks are much larger than wild ducks and typically white accounting for the excess white on the mallard you saw.
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on January 22, 2010:
Sounds strange. e-mail me the pics and I will post them for you!
Jim Goforth on January 21, 2010:
I just took pictures of a crazy bird outside my office here on a greenbelt/pond area. This thing is as large as the geese on the pond, and tends to stay with them. It has the distinctive green mallard feathering on the rear body but the head looks like a zebra somehow got into the mix - I have pictures and video I wish I could post here because it is very unique and almost disturbing. It's like a mallard on steroids with a black and white neck in almost a striped array of feathers. Oh how I wish you could see my pics!
Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on August 20, 2009:
Most ducks and geese tend to pair up with their own species.
Mallards, on the other hand, are well known for mating with all kinds of other waterfowl which can have characteristics of both parents.
Blake Flannery (author) from United States on August 20, 2009:
Thanks for your comments. I appreciate the expert eye.
nicko guzman from Los Angeles,CA on August 20, 2009:
I have had pekinXmallard crosses that are roughly the same size as the alleged "gucks".However,"gucks" do exist.Mallards can interbreed with at least 50 species of ducks,75% of which are descendants of mallards.A few of my female mallards look like the drakes,but with brown breast.This occurs when testosterone is increased.They also tend to become a little larger.The only difference is males or drakes have a curve tail-feather while females retain regular feathering.Unfortunately,this is not your case,since both ducks are drakes,which leads me to think it is a male in "partial" eclipse.They are probably not very good because they dilute the species.That being said,gucks are most likely bad on the environment because crossing with large breeds leads to loss of flight and breeding with geese almost always leads to sterilization especially when they are too distantly apart.Color can also change leading to predation and eventually extinction.They are both natural and lab created. AI is often done if mating is too hard.They do interbreed in the wild.Taste is up to you.Usually,it is greasy and fatty,especially if they were cage-raised,but free-ranged or wild birds are stringy and somewhat gamy.They are somewhat hard to produce and since ducks are not in huge demand,they probably are not worth producing.The only way to obtain them is to catch or raise them.Hope this helps.Great questions.