There are four photos in the full post.
A few weeks ago we noticed these three ducks all hanging out together that looked a bit like mallards but they were darker in spots and the coloration was just not typical of a mallard. In addition,one guy had some strange poofy feathers on his head. They were also much larger, almost goose size, compared to the typical mallard.
At first I thought they might be melanistic mallards, expressing excess feather pigmentation. However after reading more on melanistic animals I think they are probably some type of mallard hybrids. When we first saw these guys they seemed out of their element in the local pond. All three hung out very close together the whole time we observed them even dabbling in unison for food. Perhaps another case of pet ducks released into the wild just like our encounters with the Pekin and Mandarin ducks in the past.
If anyone can shed some light as to the exact origins of these hybrids it is welcome. Until then they remain a bit of a mystery to me.