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Mallard


Mallard
Photo Information
Copyright: Hilary Wilkinson (Hil) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-05-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/3.6, 1/80 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-06-11 18:15
Viewed: 3665
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 72
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Don't worry she was only resting her Leg

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, Asia, and Australia. Probably the best-known of all ducks, it gave rise to most domestic ducks, apart from the Muscovy Duck. Mallards also look like Call Ducks, but are larger in size.

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.

Description

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 size of the Mallard varies clinally, and birds from Greenland, although larger than birds further south, have smaller bills and are stockier. It is sometimes separated as subspecies Greenland Mallard (A. p. conboschas).

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. (Rogers 2001)

Breeding behaviour

Mallards form pairs only until the female lays eggs, at which time she is left by the male. The clutch is 8–13 eggs, which are incubated for 27–28 days to hatching with 50–60 days to fledging. The ducklings are precocial, and can swim and feed themselves on insects as soon as they hatch, although they stay near the female for protection. Young ducklings are not naturally waterproof and rely on the mother to provide waterproofing. Mallards also have rates of male-male sexual activity that are unusually high for birds. In some cases, as many as 19% of pairs in a Mallard population are male-male homosexual (Bagemihl 1999).

When they pair off with mating partners, often one or several drakes will end up "left out". This group will sometimes target an isolated female duck — chasing, pestering and pecking at her until she weakens (a phenomenon referred to by researchers as rape flight), at which point each male will take turns copulating with the female. Male Mallards will also occasionally chase other males in the same way. (In one documented case, a male Mallard copulated with another male he was chasing after it had been killed when it flew into a glass window.

Notes from Wilkipedia.com

Cropped
Touch of Contrast
USM
Added Border

vanderschelden, deblink, blakitan, marhowie, Debz, iris, Raptorman, angybone, Kaszek, lawhill, hester, garyfudge, nglen, CTP, JORAPAVI, ramthakur, Alex99, gracious, mikou, Tobias__Ortmann, keanhoon, tiklod has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Hilary,
We have seen a lot of mallards over the last few weeks, but this one is different because the mallard appears to be performing for us and she is on the grass rather than the water. Very lovely detail and sharp focus on the bird and I just love the amazing number of green tones you have captured here! Of course, the border just adds to the effect!
Kind regards,
Bev :-)

Hi Hilary,
Beautiful image.
Well composed. Great detail.
Well done!
TFS
Annick

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-06-11 20:14]

It is a beautiful shot with lots of greenery and a tremendous DOF. Great pose of mallard. Focus is sharp, details are nice, and exposure is perfect to yield very nice colors.

Hello Hilary,
This is a great image of this Mallard. The surrounding area is beautiful too. Wonderful colours. I like your choice of frame too. A very beautiful composition.
Cheers,
Debbie

Hi Hilary,
Nice pose, very nicely captured.
Great shot.
Why does mallard, duck, swan, and some other birds like to stand only on one foot?

BL

  • Great 
  • trinko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 78 N: 322] (4321)
  • [2007-06-11 22:01]

nice colors DOF and focus. good pose conveys a formal portrait air to the image

hi hillary,
nice capture, the pose looks good, nice colours, sharp image with good details, well composed shot, liked the pov too,
tfs & regards
pankaj

Well done Hilary, I like it.
Very easy on the eye I like to say :)
Howard

I like this, composition is good, the grass stalks balance the duck (and it's lack of leg!). Personally I would have upped the colours on the duck a little, maybe warming the browns up to counter the vivid greens everywhere else.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-06-12 4:36]

A beautiful portrait of this pretty Mallard Hil. Perfect POV, well framed and very well composed. Great focus, exposure, colours, detail and sharpness spot on.
tfs
debz

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2007-06-12 4:50]

Ha ha hilary, I like that opening line, 'coz like me most others would have first wondered "huh - a one-legged mallard?"...great moment of cpature, lovely posture and environs and good details.The framing adds to the beauty of your presentation.
Very well done.
TFS & cHeers

Helo Hilary , perfect comp. excellent saharpness , well framed and exposured photo , TFS and good luck.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-06-12 6:56]

Hello Hilary,
This shot scores well because of its unusual POV and pose of this female Mallard. Yet all the characteristics show up well. So this is an excellent way of presenting this common and popular duck on TN. In addition, the gentle green diffuse BG, the sharpness and compostion make this an excellent shot!
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Yeah, you anticipated the reaction - I first though "Poor dear has only one leg!" ha ha
Great details. I'm always amazed at the intricate design in the feathers of these lovely creatures. Wonderful sharpness and color.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-06-12 8:19]

Hi Hil,
a beautiful shot of this mallard.
Sharp and very well composed with a brilliant DOF.
Well done,
Joey

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-06-12 9:44]

Hi Hilary,
Awesome portrait of the Mallard. Very neat and sharp details on its plummage. Interesting how they rest one leg, which they wonderfully hide. Perfect natural lighting, nice colours and fine focus. Excellent POV to portray it and a precise DOF. Very nicely composed. Kudos.
TFS.
Sumon

  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-06-12 14:24]

selam hilary ; amazing shot of this mallard , good details presented , very nice BG and POV, well captured with splendid colours TFS
regards
ridvan

  • Great 
  • Kaszek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 237 W: 50 N: 391] (1451)
  • [2007-06-12 14:25]

Hello Hilary,
Why are you cut out the second leg? ;)
Very good shot. Full of details, brilliant colours and good POV.
TFS

Magnifiques détails et composition.
Bravo
Marie

Hello Hilary,
This is a great shot with very nice colors and sharpness
you manage the greens very well nice freame TFS best regards/Lawhill

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-06-12 16:10]

Hi Hilary

Nice shot of this mallard yoga. Lovely capture of the wonderful feathers, great pose, lovely setting and crisp and sharp

TFS

Karan

A really good shot of what currently is a well posted breed.
The angle of the PoV really makes this.
Super details.

Gary

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-06-13 15:08]

Hi Hilary. did not see the malard yesterday. a very good shot indeed. a very good pose from him. great colours and detail .with fine sharp focus. very nice compostion all round. very well done TFS.
Nick..

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2007-06-14 0:23]

Hi Hil,
Great Mallard Portrait.
I like your colors,framing,note,focus,pov,mallard's pose and dof.TFS
Chris

Hola Hilary,
Precioso retrato de bonita composición, excelente nitidez y buenos detalles. Saludos
José Ramón

For a change, it is good to see a Mallard walking around rather than floating on water, Hilary :-).
And thanks for telling it's resting a leg; I would certainly have assumed it to be a cripple otherwise.
This is a wonderful capture of the bird from behind. With those camera settings, you have achieved the finest effects in terms of DOF, colour intensity and ambient light.
Bravo and thanks for sharing this great image.

Hello Hilary,
I'm amazed by those superb details you caught at this aperture and shutter speed. Your beautiful subject should have been very still. I like its pose, this POV, very natural colors and exposure and most of all, this is a great composition. Beautiful! Thanks,
Claudine

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-06-14 14:08]

Hi Hilary.
What can I say? BRAVO. Outstanding at any respect shot. No word more.
Alexei.
P.S. My congratulations. This is my new favorite picture.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-06-15 14:48]

Hello Hil

Put yer best foot forward I say.

Nicely cropped and composed in the frame.The clarity is excllent with sharp focus and details.Nicely done.TFS


Rob

Hello Hilary,
what a superb sharpness with natural colour and details
good pov for capturing this wonderful mallard.
thanks for sharing
cheers
Tony

  • Great 
  • mikou Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 869 W: 68 N: 1479] (6093)
  • [2007-08-06 6:01]

Hi Hillary.
Beautiful picture.Very good soft light and beautiful colors and good details in plumage.Interesting your POV with his pretty pose.Well composed this presentation.Take care.
TFS and best regards Milos.

Hi Hilary great capture
very nice focused with fantastic colours and composition
sharpness is very nice
well done and tfs
Toba

Superb, you know the viewer concern for their first view. Great DOF and exposure.
TFS

Hi Hilary,
Very beautiful picture. Focus and details are prefectly done. DOF is very nice for this photo. The grass is lovely and gives a extra to this excellent shot :-)
Regards,

Claude

Hi Hil

Love the shot of the Mallard. the composition is great with her not actually facing us, but showing all the lovely colours and patterns in her feathers.

TFS
Emma
PS For someone who lives in Carlise (or appears to live there) how come there are no landscape shots? - used to live near to Ullswater)

Hillary, excellent shot!great composition and terrific sharpness, beautiful colors and good details. you have so many wonderful photos, it's so hard to choose a favorite.
Angela

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