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von Humboldt

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  1. Definitely full blooded Mottled Ducks. Notice how the bills of the Texas/LA sub-species are identical to a mallard - male yellow, female orange w/ black splotches.
  2. Added: in the close-up picture of the middle bird if the eyes only appear yellowish instead of a golden yellow it's a juvenile male rather than an adult in eclipse plumage
  3. A male shoveler has yellow eyes. Eclipse plumage makes it look female.
  4. Nevermind about the speculum. I was thinking of a Black Duck not having white edges. That speculum is perfect for a Mottled
  5. Tony, I have a couple of questions for you. 1st, when you say "too much streaking on the cheek for a male" I assume you mean too much streaking for a typical pure male Mottled Duck rather than there is a question whether the duck is male or female. Am I correct that the bill color is definitive that it is a male Mallardine. 2nd, you've taught me that tail doesn't indicate Mallard, but in the second picture of the duck the rear edge of the speculum shows some white. Doesn't that indicate it must have a little bit of Mallard DNA, although the rest of the bird's indicators are within the range for pure Mottled.
  6. I would say Duck # 1 is a male mottled duck with a little bit of mallard ancestory and the duck in the third photo is a male mottled x mallard.
  7. At first I thought there was too much white on the side for it to be pure Mallard, but that probably is just overexposure. I understand the term "intersex" is used for any bird with exterior male and female characteristics. However, in mallards I believe it is invariably a female whose ovaries had been damaged by age, disease, or injury. The bill color never changes and the plumage, due to lack of estrogen, exhibits some male characteristics. It ranges from just an upturned tail and maybe a little grayish tint to this girl who is almost full greenhead. I think in some passerines it's just the opposite where a lack of testosterone causes a male to show some female plumage.. If I'm mistaken feel free to correct me.
  8. I don't know much about domestic Mallards other than they're fat and weird colored, but the bill on #1 duck is a classic female orange and black. Could this be a Mallard mutt female with severely damaged ovaries or do some domestic breeds have males with this bill color.
  9. I agree. The photo is blurry with weird lighting, but the first photo shows the speculum and I don't believe it could be any other duck.
  10. The last pic makes me comfortable in saying it's male
  11. Not sure but I think its a male. The bill is more yellow than green and you would expect male Mallards to be hanging out together this time of year.
  12. The bird in the second photo is a male Mottled Duck. Yellow bill make it a male and Buffy cheeks, short eyeline, gape spot and under tail coverts look like a purebred Mottled Duck. The other duck has a weird bill. It's hard to tell the color of the bill and the shape is hard to discern due to glare but the plumage looks like a Mottled Duck. Maybe it's the female Mottled Duck and just has a large deformed bill or the lighting is making it look so.
  13. It may be that other Cardinals are also using the feeder at a particular time of day, but you do not realize it because they are not distinctive looking. Birds tend to be creatures of habit when they have safe habitat and a food source. Mites are fairly common in Cardinals and their head is apparently a vulnerable area as I've seen several that were nearly bald during my life. If it continues to regularly come to your feeder you'll probably notice that the feathers grow in over the next several months even if it's not the time of year for a molt..
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