The Eclipse

Mid to late summer as their ducklings become juveniles Mallard Ducks acquire what is known as eclipse plumage. As a result of the yearly molt males lose their distinctive shiney green heads and look suprisingly like females. Looking closely you can tell the difference – male beaks are of a greenish hue while the females are yellow and black.

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Mallard Duck

During the few weeks of the molt the ducks are incapable of flight. This fact is what inabled me to take this photo; otherwise the birds would have flown upon noticing my arrival.

When courtship begins in the fall the males will have their distinctive look back and the cycle of life continues.

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Mallard Duck
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