nathalie with an h said repeatedly she never sees anything more exciting than ducks when she visits White Rock Lake.  Of course, one need understand she considers any creature to be a duck if it has wings and is located near water—let alone if it’s touching water.

But seeing ducks is anything but mundane, especially when this area proffers such a wide variety of these feathered beasts.

A male mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) standing in green grass craning his head around to look at me (2009_03_21_013630)

A male mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos).

A female mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) floating in calm water (2008_12_07_000525)

A female mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos).

Blue-winged teals (Anas discors) swimming in a marsh (2009_03_21_013790)

Blue-winged teals (Anas discors): one male and two females.

A male American wigeon (Anas americana) quickly swimming away (2009_02_01_005718)

A male American wigeon (Anas americana).

A male ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) floating at the lake on a sunny day (2009_02_22_010825)

A male ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis).

A male northern shoveler (Anas clypeata) swimming along a creek (2009_02_15_009858)

A male northern shoveler (Anas clypeata).

A male gadwall (Anas strepera) swimming leisurely on a sunny day (2009_03_08_012774)

A male gadwall (Anas strepera).

Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola) swimming in a group (2009_02_15_009427)

Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola): Two males and two females.

A female lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) floating near shore (2009_02_03_006549)

A female lesser scaup (Aythya affinis).

A male lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) swimming away from shore (2009_02_03_006875)

A male lesser scaup (Aythya affinis).

A female wood duck (Aix sponsa) floating in a creek at sunset (2009_02_13_008558)

A female wood duck (Aix sponsa).

A male wood duck (Aix sponsa) swimming in a creek at sunset (2009_02_13_008550)

A male wood duck (Aix sponsa).

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[1] I did not include photos of feral domestic populations (e.g., Muscovies, domestic Indian runners, etc.).  Neither did I include photos of the various hybrid species living here (mostly mallards crossed with various other ducks).

[2] This is but a sampling of the species found at the lake.  Indian runners, northern pintails, black-bellied whistling-ducks, ring-necked ducks, green-winged teals, canvasbacks, redheads, cinnamon teals, greater scaups and many other species can be found depending on the time of year.

[3] Most of these pictures are of drakes (male ducks).  That’s because the females of many species greatly resemble female mallards—with a few minor differences, I mean.  The northern shoveler female is smaller with a spatulate bill; the blue-winged teal female is smaller with bill color and minor plumage differences; and the list goes on.  The diversity of the species is best represented by the males given their varied displays; only the careful observer would realize the differences presented in images of many females.

[4] The title “CM DUCKS” is from this silly word game I learned many moons ago as a child.


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