On Sunday 9 Feb 2003 the waterfowl at Corona Park in New York City were crowded into a small area of open water. Among them I noticed a strange female Anas-type dabbling duck which appeared paired with a male Mallard. This handsome bird had a striking pale supercilium, throat and patch between the loral stripe and gape line. The base color for the rest of the plumage was pale buff with attractive dark spotting. The scapulars and mantle feathers had dark blade-like centers. The wings were very short and did not extend beyond the base of the tail. The tertials contained internal markings.
Does anyone know what this bird is? Is it a recognizable aviculturists breed?
For comparison here are three different female Mallards taken on the same day (below).