By: Pat Coate
Based on how common mallards are, I think birders (me included) take them a bit for granted. But they are really quite beautiful birds, the male in particular displaying an impressive palette of colors.
Field marks for the male include:
• Shiny green head
• Bright yellow bill with black mark on tip
• Brown breast
• White ring around neck
• Silver on sides
• Blue speculum patch on wing (not always visible)
• Black and white in rear with a black tail curl
• Bright orange feet
All these field marks can be seen in the above or following pictures.
I am addicted to this spring time sunshine and ended up with 7 first of the years birds to report this weekend! CHEERS! Patty has been showing me all of the hot spots around Chautauqua Lake and although we were not successful in relocating the Tundra Swan she had earlier in the day . . . . . we still had a great time together on the outlet!
I made a quick stop for ducks along the Allegheny River today. Still waiting for many of the migrants to arrive but I did get some Hooded Mergansers, Common Mergansers, Buffleheads, Mallards, and Black Ducks.