Most ducks shed their body feathers twice each year. Nearly all drakes lose their bright plumage after mating, and for a few weeks resemble females. This hen-like appearance is called the eclipse plumage. The return to breeding coloration varies in species and individuals of each species
That means on this very hot day in July this summer, when Tom was getting the ducks into the boat, there may have been just as many males as females nipping at his sandwich.
That is why, only in the spring, in a marsh near the lake, have we seen the iridescent green head and the chestnut body of the male. The female does the nest building. Her mate may be off looking at his handsome coloring in still waters, who knows?
The mallard is a puddle duck. What?
Tomorrow we will talk about the difference.