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This mallard caught my eye as I was walking our dog yesterday about 10:00 am.  We live just west of Chicago in Naperville.  The pond is a typical rainwater retention pond.  Every spring we'll seem to get a couple pairs of mallards there laying eggs and raising the chicks.  What was unusual, at least for me, was the brilliant white areas on this duck.  Went back with my camera today and took a few shots around noon (both cropped taken with a Nikon at 1/1600 sec at f/5.6 ISO 400, 500mm).  There were two male mallards and one female and then this white one.  It was swimming with the other female with the males together about 20 feet ahead.  The eyes are not pink so I assume not a true albino.  To the naked eye, the black sections on the white one looked, well, black, but in the photo you can clearly see it is an iridescent purple/blue.  Looking on Google, it really didn't look like any hybrid but also didn't look like an albino.  I'm sure someone here might know what we have here.  Thanks

Albino Mallard-2944.jpg

Albino Mallard-2945.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Really!   Just to fill in the location, we are about 35 miles west of Lake Michigan.  We do live next to a forest preserve (some oak and hickory stands along with prairie with a river running through it. No saltwater anywhere (except for my reef tank). Assume this is just a migratory stop? Thanks for the quick ID!

Edited by Photoengineer

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Haha! was literally just looking at that map.  Very little open water here in the winter especially this winter.  The pond that they are on was frozen up until about Saturday.  We get a lot of birds here but never have I seen this one and I've lived here all my life.  I consider myself lucky.

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Bufflehead are fairly common this time of year in the Great Lakes region where they can be found on relatively small ponds to large lakes (not saltwater). You can have a frozen pond one day have it thaw the next and find Buffleheads on it the following day...which is a good thing! 

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