During the summer and fall months, The Forks in Winnipeg is home to lots of birds. There are gulls, mallards, Canada Geese, wood ducks and recently this pair of ducks.
Mid Zoom in:
I have not been able to identify them…I just know they are HUGE compared to mallards and even seem to be pretty close to the size of a Canada goose. They do have alot of similarities to mallards..and a friend of mine suggested they might be Rouen ducks(a domesticated duck related to the mallard). Or… are these ducks just giant male mallards in the molting/eclipse phase and storing up lots of fat for the migration?? But they look so heavy I don’t know if they could even fly!
One last photo, with what looks like a smaller version in the center of the photo, but is it “just” a male mallard in molting/eclipse phase? It is very similar in size to the female mallard just to the left. I don’t remember seeing any “typical” male mallards in breeding plumage with their distinctive green heads at this visit..which is not surprising given the time of year! Or is it a juvenile of whatever the large ducks are??
Has anyone ever seen ducks like this?? I am a real novice when it comes to figuring stuff out like this..
I did find this lovely article about mallard plumage: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/metro/urban-jungle/pages/110830.html
And here is a link to a photo and article with a female and a molting/eclipse male mallard: http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/placestovisit/hamwall/b/hamwall-blog/archive/2012/08/02/mallards-females-amp-males-in-eclipse-at-rspb-ham-wall.aspx
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here.
Linking to Helena’s “Pairs” meme here