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Mallard ~ Eclipsed Male by Kimberly Chadwick

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Sweetwater Wetlands
Tucson, AZ
Canon Powershot sx10is

Mallard

Mallards, a dabbler, tips into the shallow waters and pluck seeds, grasses, or invertebrates from the bottom. Will also eat insects from the water surface.

Courtship ritual includes males pumping their head, bill dipping, and rearing up to exaggerate his size. The female signals consent by duplicating the males head-pumping.

Common migration and winter resident at lakes and ponds.

VOICE

Molting & Eclipsed males are similar to females but with yellow or olive bill. Ducks shed most of their feathers twice each year, and in mid-summer most male ducks molt from the bright and colorful breeding plumage into a drab, female-like “eclipse plumage”. The reason for this is that ducks have a rapid but complete molt after breeding, dropping both body and wing feathers, and for a few weeks are completely flightless. Temporarily unable to escape predators by flying away, many male ducks have opted to do what the females do for most of the year and merge safely into the background.

Last part of information was copied from ‘Eclipse’ Plumage a very informative web page by Charlie Moores, writer, photographer, and world birder extraordinaire, among a few.

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My goal is to get my name out there among the vast ocean of Natural photographers. To be known for my skill with a Point & Shoot~

My images are not photo shopped. They have only been adjusted with basic sharpening, contrasting & saturation techniques. I believe that in order to appreciate Nature, you have to capture it as it is, naturally.

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Comments

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47almost 5 years ago

    Well caught, & a good explanation of the Eclipse phase. If you know your birds, you really can’t mistake an eclipsed drake from a duck – but from a distance, or if you’re just learning, it can be confusing! Great job.

  • LOL you are right ~ It was only a week before that I was helping a friend with her mallards and her male was looking just like him. I had to ask her what was going on and she told me he was molting. My “Bird Bible” told me the process was called Eclipsing so I took it from there. Thank you Sheila for the validation of research~☺

    – Kimberly Chadwick

  • MylieLynn
    MylieLynnalmost 5 years ago

    Wow amazing duck! Great photography….

  • I do appreciate you taking the time to look Mylie! Thank you for your supportive words!

    – Kimberly Chadwick

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