Well, this is cool.
One of our mallards is having some kind of crazy puberty.
When we first started seeing plumage on our mallards, we thought we had all females. Very drab, brown coloring. It was a little bummer, but no biggie. I mean, it's not like we actually NEED them to breed and make more ducks. It's kind of poultry-palooza around here right now. Then I found out we actually had males in "eclipse" plumage. Which, I now believe was actually just juvenile, plumage, but whatever - same net: Brown. Drab. I think I posted about this before but am too lazy to check my archives.
In any case, Peep - our male - is starting to molt the boring browns and get his flashy adult male/breeding plumage. It is an amazing thing to watch. Here are a couple photos. The first is how he looked pre-molt. The second is a few days into the molt. Peep is the one in the back. In the front is Star - the female. Peep looked just like her until days before the photo was taken.
You can see the pretty silver-grey feathers coming in and his face is getting decidedly green.
I am blown away by this. Nature is just too weird. I'll take a few more pics in the next couple weeks and show you his progress. Go, Peep! I hope the mating follows. I can't help it...I just love baby ducks.
Hmmm. Where to Start?
3 months ago