Mallard HenDrake?

Submitted by Brad on 4/2/01. ( )

Just started to mount a mallard Drake for a guy and noticed all the belly feathers looks like hen feathers. The Feet look more like a hen as well. I have never seen anything like this just wondering if this is a common thing or has anyone seen this before.

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sounds like

This response submitted by Bill Yox on 4/2/01. ( )

the young of the year in its molt. They ALL look like hens until they get the second round of feathers. I cant imagine that the quality is very good, pin feathers, etc. But of course, you know nature, it COULD be an adult that has the mix in feather pattern and color, or those darned ruen crossed with mallards, etc...

Eclipse Plumage

This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 4/2/01. ( )

Could be an adult male in eclipse plummage. Agree with Bill Yox that you may be in for a hard time with feathering. If it was a flight (migtratory) wild bird, could be late hatch. Sex it after skinning. If your subject has ovaries it would be a very unique hen, contact Illinois Natural History Survey, they would be interested.

Bill's right-Eclipse plummage

This response submitted by Greg on 4/3/01. ( )

After mating season drakes plummage changes to very much like a hen's. In the early fall it begins turning back to the more colorful pattern. You almost certainly have a drake in the process of changing.

he-she mallard

This response submitted by Nancy M. on 4/3/01. ( )

I just love a good mystery. If the bird is full of pinfeathers it is probably in some stage of eclipse plumage. If not, it may just be a mutant individual. Some authorities speculate that Mexican ducks, mottled ducks and etc. are mallard derivatives that have lost the bright breeding colors. If so, maybe they started like what you have.
I agree with Bill Gaither. It would be interesting to sex the bird and also try to estimate its age. [Although the dull feet make me think it's probably a juvenile...on the other hand, if it's very old it may be losing its normal hormone levels.]
Will you let us know what you find?
Nancy M.


This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 4/3/01. ( )

Losing hormonal levels is good guess, hen turkeys with beards, for instance, does with spikes........may even be my problem........

no bill g

This response submitted by lol on 4/3/01. ( )

i think caducity may be your problem

Como estan Quack?

This response submitted by Bill Gaither on 4/3/01. ( )

Nancy, mexican ducks, mottled ducks and Florida ducks do resemble mallards and Black ducks. Having seen both in breeding ranges, I would think that the mottled duck is more like Black than mallard in habit. Mexican ducks have an annoying habit of conjugating their quacking so as to render english duck calls useless here on the Texas Coast. TY

Hey LOL!

This response submitted by Bill on 4/3/01. ( )

I am not sure I can handle curmudgeon and caducity in one weeks' time.
If I could get out of this wheelchair, I'd show you frail. The one good thing about getting older is that the older I become, the more younger women there look

Male or female ducklin?

This response submitted by Sharlene on 6/7/01. ( )

I recently adopted a mallard baby ducklin, it's four weeks old, and it has recently started to grow out adult feathers. The color is mottled brown, similar to the adult female. Is it ok to be certain now that it is a female, or should I wait for the second round of feathers to start growing out? Is there another way I could know what sex it is (eg, looking at the size of the feet)? The suspense is killing me!

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