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Mallard lookout


Mallard lookout
Photo Information
Copyright: Doug Whincup (dougsphotos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 78 W: 5 N: 190] (849)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D80, Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-16 3:18
Viewed: 2937
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I spotted this female Mallard perching on a log in the river Ure in Ripon - looking out as though she rules the river!

Didn't have a tripod with me so had to handhold as best I could - not easy at 300mm - and up the ISO to cope with the light... so it's not as pin sharp as I'd like but nonetheless thought it was quite a nice shot - hope you like it.

Thanks for looking - Doug

Some Mallard facts and figures -

The Mallard inhabits most wetlands, including parks, small ponds and rivers, and usually feeds by dabbling for plant food or grazing; there are reports of it eating frogs. It usually nests on a river bank, but not always near water. It is highly gregarious outside of the breeding season and will form large flocks, which are known as a sord.

A 29-year-old Mallard has been recorded.

The Mallard is a rare example of both Allen's Rule and Bergmann's Rule in birds. Bergmann's Rule, which states that polar forms tend to be larger than related ones from warmer climates, has numerous examples in birds. Allen's Rule says that appendages like ears tend to be smaller in polar forms to minimize heat loss, and larger in tropical and desert equivalents to facilitate heat diffusion, and that the polar taxa are stockier overall. Examples of this rule in birds are rare, as they lack external ears. However, the bill of ducks is very well supplied with blood vessels and is vulnerable to cold.

The size of the Mallard varies clinally, and birds from Greenland, although larger than birds further south, have smaller bills and are stockier. It is sometimes separated as subspecies Greenland Mallard (A. p. conboschas).

In captivity, domestic ducks come in wild-type plumages, white, and other colours. Most of these colour variants are also known in domestic mallards not bred as livestock, but kept as pets, aviary birds, etc., where they are rare but increasing in availability.

A noisy species, the male has a nasal call, the female the "quack" always associated with ducks.

gerbilratz, pablominto has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Good enough for me Doug, I can relate to you not having the tripod etc when you need them...but handheld etc makes it a good capture....The DOF is really nice...TFS

Hello Doug,
Seldom to see them in a position like this, just like a falcon looking for prey..!
Maybe she is a bit confused, hehehe...
Jokes aside, it's a fine capture with good details in the plumage, colours are well reproduced!
Greetings,
Pablo -

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