Sunday, June 21, 2009

When it's time to change....

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.

6 comments:

Annette said...

Man-- you know you are a farmer when.....

You look at the cute duck photos and ask: So is your little giant waterer hooked to pvc pipe? or is that the hose?

We just learned about that waterer and we are in love with them. any other cool feeders or time savers you can share?

Judy said...

I raised some mallards once and they did great. Then the fall came and one they day they took off with their wild breathern, leaving the white Pekins with puzzled looks.

Blue Heron Farm said...

PVC pipe, Annette. Christian rigged it up. We like it most of the time, but the ducks tend to push it off axis and then it leaks and makes a puddle for them to snorkle in. :(

We just turned it off today so the stupid turkeys won't drown.

Michael@greenakeys.com said...

Ducks are messy as hell. I love them, but they need so much attention to keep them clean. Winter also stinks around here with ducks. Yucks.

ceoguy said...

Actually Annette, I am disappointed in that waterer. It's about a year old and it leaks like crazy. I had to shut it down and use a non automatic type. I don't think the ducks killed it but perhaps they did.

Michael@greenakeys.com said...

Im starting to hate them myself. I have one that the birds drink from but they spin the red bowl and it slowly turns the valve inside until its all the way shut off and they have no more water. Stupid birds turning off their own water. I may have to tape it or something.