black bird with a purple gloss on wing and a duck bill

My husband saw this bird I described at work in a field. First time ever to see it. They were a flock and they flew away. He thinks they were passing thru. What are they??

Comments for black bird with a purple gloss on wing and a duck bill

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Mar 13, 2013
Your locations would help but . . . NEW
by: GaryE

Here is a list of the ducks that have some purple coloring I found in my bird books:

Wood Duck
Ruddy Duck (more red/ruddy than purple but at a quick glance could be considered purple)
Harlequin Duck (again more red/rust/ruddy)
Female Barrow's Goldeneye (again red/rust/ruddy)
Female cinnamon Teal (again more red/cinnamon)

I think the best bet considering you saw them in a field is the Wood Duck. But you have to consider their range This time of year they are pretty much only in the SE quadrant of the US and within about 100 miles of the west Coast which may or may not preclude them from consideration. Not to mention that they are usually only very colorful during breeding season . . . but I guess it is close to breeding time (again depending upong your location) so that might not matter.

For more info on the wood duck check out:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wood_Duck/id

You can check out the other ducks by going to that same site and find the search box and entering the other ducks I mentioned as take a look. Also take a look near the bottom of the page and look at similar species to see if you can find a match that way.

Good Luck and let us know what you find!

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