Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mallard Appreciation Day

When I was a popcorn and bread-crumb duck-feedin' kid, I loved Mallards.  One time, when I was about five years old, I was swinging on a handful of weeping willow vines out over the edge a of duck pond.  The vines snapped and I fell into the shallow water.  The water may have been shallow, but the mud was deep and I was certain that it was more duck pooh than mud.  I still loved those ducks. 

When I started birding, I quickly ticked Mallards off the bird trip list.  When I become an eBirder, I counted them.  Now that I endeavor to photograph birds, my thrill with drake mallards has been reinvigorated.

The iridescent green head!  The brilliant violet of the secondaries which are usually hidden, but shown in all their glory here!  What is not to like and admire about these drakes?!  Well, maybe their awful, but easily recognizable honk.

The smoothness of their feathers almost has a fluid quality and grace.  Photos help you zoom in and enjoy the finer texture of the different feathers. 

Strong yellow bills and bright orange feet!  These common ducks are a color buffet!

Maybe one day I will discover a new found appreciation of the plain ol' brown female Mallard...maybe 'cause they're mothers.


  1. Beautiful Series..I would love to see a series on the plain ole brown female:)

  2. They are indeed beautiful birds, but so common that one might forget about them ;-) beautiful collection!

  3. Gotta love the mallards. I couldn't believe it when I learned about their eclipse plumage- they pretend to be women!

  4. Every day is Mallard Appreciation Day.

  5. You're right, the colors of the Mallard drake are very cool - we shouldn't forget that this common bird is a beauty too!