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Ducks

 I was puzzled by the identity of these ducks today.  The one with the red face is male, and he is the sort of large, spectacularly ugly duck I often see hanging about on the slip at Calstock.  I had assumed that these were domesticated ducks, although I have had a look at the Websites of Duck Identification with no success.

However, his mate, the slim dark duck that swims low in the water and has a sheen of green on her black feathers,  looks nothing like him.   I would have thought she was a wild duck if the male duck had not attracted my attention through the medium of spectacularly loud and disturbingly violent Duck Sex.   If the chicks take after their father, I foresee a raft of ugly ducklings ahead.


Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
wellinghall
10th Jan, 2016 20:29 (UTC)
Anatidae will have noisy, and often successful, hybrid sex as often as anser.

Many years ago, I was outside working for my father, and occasionally shouting to a colleague. We were puzzled by one goose, which I thought was a pinkfoot and he thought was a brent. I mentioned it to my father afterwards and he said, oh yes, the pinkfoot brent cross that lives down there.
kargicq
10th Jan, 2016 20:49 (UTC)
Muscovy duck?
bunn
10th Jan, 2016 21:54 (UTC)
Yes! I think I must have overlooked it on the Websites of Duck Identification because only one individual was shown and I bet they picked a nice tidy-looking specimen that looked quite unlike this one.

With the name, I was able to do a google image search and discover that the unfortunate lady duck is probably a wild muscovy duck, being black with a green sheen, and her ugly partner is the domesticated type.

Definitely one of those situations where the wild type is so much more pleasing to the eye.
kargicq
11th Jan, 2016 20:10 (UTC)
Glad to be of service! Agreed about the ugliness, though.
anna_wing
11th Jan, 2016 04:28 (UTC)
The red one is a domesticated Muscovy duck. I have eaten many of them.
wellinghall
11th Jan, 2016 08:33 (UTC)
Hello anna_wing. If I might ask - do we know each other outside bunn's LJ? Your name seems familiar to me.
anna_wing
12th Jan, 2016 07:41 (UTC)
I used to have Tolkien fanfic on HASA (it's all now at AO3 under Anna_Wing). Were you Celandine Brandybuck?
wellinghall
12th Jan, 2016 21:03 (UTC)
No, I have never written there (or read there very much).

I think I knew someone with that name when I was at school; but that was a long time ago!
bunn
11th Jan, 2016 20:57 (UTC)
They all look different! I was sort of assuming that as a species, the bars and speckles would be more consistent. But I suppose that's domestication for you.
carmarthen
24th Jan, 2016 22:00 (UTC)
Some species of wild birds are also highly variable. I think red-tailed hawk variations took up two solid pages in Sibley's.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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