Monday, September 16, 2013

Faded glories

Male mallards are always scruffy this time of year. They're molting. They will be losing their brilliant breeding plumage, even dropping the wing feathers, which will leave them unable to fly for a couple of weeks.

Splotchy male. He will retain some green on the head all winter, and the yellow bill.

This one still has his sleek summer wings and a blue-purple head, but it's starting to fade.

Ma mallard can afford to look smug; she maintains her tidy coat year-round.


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