Ever since Deb [who sadly doesn’t have a blog I can link to ;)] mentioned, in a comment to my post, the pin curled tail feathers of the Mallard drake, I’ve been looking more closely at them. Always found them cute, but never paid much attention to them. The other day, at the duck pond, I started to look for them, but this time of year, they’re all brown … they all look like female ducks, and there aren’t too many there, for the moment.

Opened my Duck album, which is immense, and it seems it’s not ALL the male mallards who have it … or at least not all the time, hard to tell — they look so much alike so you can’t really distinguish one from the other πŸ™‚ One wonders what Β the deal is with that, or if any research has been done on the subject. Nowadays research seems to be done on the most unexpected things in life. If not, perhaps that could be my thesis … my doctorate?! *LOL*

Here, a few curly tails

6 Replies to “curly”

  1. I can understand your confusion about the on-again, off-again curly tail feathers, but your photo of “Waiting: Winter Drake on Frozen Pond”, is a perfect example of a mature Mallard Drake showing what a fantastic mate he would be to all prospective partners. It’s the same idea as the male lion with his huge ruff of fur (or that guy with the chest hair and muscles; ) saying, “Look at me! Aren’t I impressive?”
    Just look at this gorgeous Boy with his glossy, iridescent plumage, brilliant orange feet and bright yellow bill. He is spectacular and ready to pass on his genes to any passing hen who might show an interest… (BUT, without those pin curl tail feathers, he’s just another one of this year’s ducklings; )

    1. Beautifully worded, Deb! The ‘Great Horny Mallard’ isn’t all that picky about whether it’s a mallard hen, or something else. πŸ˜€ I did know about the feet turning more intensely orange. There’s a web site somewhere, where one can see pictures of all those mixed breeds … some are actually quite beautiful!

  2. I dont know anything about mallards- except that they are beautiful. Thinking about the male pheasant- with his beautiful green head-the alfa-male with something looking like ears, and strong red around the eyes, I have seen how the most spectacular of them is the “winner”- they fight over and over about the teritory. I wonder if it isnt possible to find something about the mallards curly feather somewhere, alone because its interesting.

    1. Hej Annette!
      I don’t know much either, but I know more now, than when I started taking pictures of birds and wildlife. In fact, I know more birds here than the ones back home! And yes, I guess it’s all about attracting females. It’s all different in the animal world … amongst humans, it’s most often the women who put on make-up and dress up…

      1. LOL! That’s probably because we in the “civilised” world (no longer) need to hide in the reeds or long grass to protect our nest, eggs or young; )

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