Am I a Mallard?
|Copyright: Hilary Wilkinson (Hil)
|Date Taken: 2007-02-26|
|Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50|
|Exposure: f/4.5, 1/250 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2007-02-26 18:52|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This little Duck lives on my local pond, he is the only White Duck there, I once posted a shot before and I wrongly identified it as a Aylesbury Duck which is a domestic species, so I was told to get rid, but I now know its not a Aylesbury as its half the size, this little guy is the same size as a Mallard and its partner is a Mallard, so I was wondering if he is a Mallard as according to the notes from wilkipedia below you can get White ones.|
The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), also known as the wild duck, is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe and Asia. Probably the best-known of all ducks, it gave rise to most domestic ducks, apart from the Muscovy Duck.
It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south; it is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. It also frequents Central America and the Caribbean, and has been introduced into Australia and New Zealand. It is now the most common duck in New Zealand.
In captivity, Mallards come in wild-type plumages, white, and other colours. Most of these colour variants are rare but increasing in domestic collections.
The dabbling duck is 56–65 cm length, with an 81–98 cm wingspan, and weighs 750–1000 g. The breeding male is unmistakable with a green head, black rear end and a blue speculum edged with white, prominent in flight or at rest. Males also possess a yellow bill with a black tip, females dark brown.
The female Mallard is light brown like most female dabbling ducks. It can be distinguished from other ducks by the distinctive speculum. In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage, the drake looks more like the female.
The Mallard is a rare example of both Allen's Rule and Bergmann's Rule in birds. Bergmann's Rule, which states that polar forms tend to be larger than related ones from warmer climates, has numerous examples in birds. Allen's Rule says that appendages like ears tend to be smaller in polar forms to minimize heat loss, and larger in tropical and desert equivalents to facilitate heat diffusion, and that the polar taxa are stockier overall. Examples of this rule in birds are rare, as they lack external ears. However, the bill of ducks is very well supplied with blood vessels and is vulnerable to cold.
The Mallard inhabits most wetlands, including parks, small ponds and rivers, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing; there are reports of it eating frogs. It usually nests on a river bank, but not always near water. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks.
A noisy species, the male has a nasal call, the female the "quack" always associated with ducks.
Notes from Wilkipedia.com
Janice, PaulH, hester, Finland_in_Eton, Silke has marked this note useful
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- [2007-02-26 22:36]
A very interesting question.I have seen a flock of mallards here(very wild) and included in this flock is one white duck as well.Is it a mutation a very good question.The portrait is very well done,with excellent focus and well handled DOF and POV.TFS
- [2007-02-27 3:22]
It seems to have the Mallard 'look' to it Hil. And what a beautiful bird he is. You have managed the whites very well. Well done,
- [2007-02-27 8:25]
nice portrait, that FZ50 certainly seems to be doing the business! I had the FZ20, which was great and miss it's huge zoom! i have just bought a new 300mm lens though, so this is something to aspire to.
great stuff, i love the clarity and details.
- [2007-03-01 14:59]
We have these mallards here too and I must say I like the white. You have captured a very nice portrait with great details.
- [2007-03-03 16:34]
I have never heard of white mallards so this is fascinating. It certainly is a beautiful duck and you have captured some lovely details in the white feathers. Nice portrait shot.
I, too, never knew there were white mallards... interesting. Your photo is just stunning with excellent exposure and detail. Love that you can actually see the detail of the eye as well as the reflected light. Very nice DOF, giving the background just enough blurring to make things interesting. TFS
- [2007-08-24 2:20]
I remembered seeing this posting when I was searching for information on ducks and have come back to it because I found a white duck in a flock of mallards as well this evening. I took several shots, and if one of them is any good, I shall post it tomorrow.
Your capture is really superb. I love the sharpness and you've handled the whites very well