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Mallard Portrait

Mallard Portrait
Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-03-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS, Digital ISO-100
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-01-17 2:27
Viewed: 2900
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Another shot of yesterday's Mallard but this time closer to the glossyiridescentgreensheeniness that is this bird's head plumage!

Thanks :)

The Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
The archetypal "wild duck" and probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks, is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand (where it is currently the most common duck species), and Australia. It is strongly migratory in the northern parts of its breeding range, and winters farther south. For example, in North America it winters south to Mexico, but also regularly strays into Central America and the Caribbean between September and May.

The Mallard and the Muscovy Duck are believed be the ancestors of all domestic ducks.

The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies to the mallard.

The mallard is 56–65 cm long, has a wingspan of 81–98 cm, and weighs 750–1,000 g. The breeding male is unmistakable, with a green head, black rear end and a yellow bill tipped with black (as opposed to the dark brown bill in females). The female Mallard is light brown, like most female dabbling ducks. However, both the female and male Mallards have distinct blue speculum edged with white, prominent in flight or at rest (though temporarily shedded during the annual summer molt). In non-breeding (eclipse) plumage the drake becomes drab, looking more like the female, but still distinguishable by its yellow bill and reddish breast.

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.

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.
Mallards form pairs only until the female lays eggs, at which time she is left by the male. The clutch is 8–13 eggs, which are incubated for 27–28 days to hatching with 50–60 days to fledging. The ducklings are precocial, and can swim and feed themselves on insects as soon as they hatch, although they stay near the female for protection. Young ducklings are not naturally waterproof and rely on the mother to provide waterproofing. Mallards also have rates of male-male sexual activity that are unusually high for birds. In some cases, as many as 19% of pairs in a Mallard population are male-male homosexual.

When they pair off with mating partners, often one or several drakes will end up "left out". This group will sometimes target an isolated female duck — chasing, pestering and pecking at her until she weakens (a phenomenon referred to by researchers as rape flight), at which point each male will take turns copulating with the female. Male Mallards will also occasionally chase other males in the same way. (In one documented case, a male Mallard copulated with another male he was chasing after it had been killed when it flew into a glass window.

Cheers! :o)

jusninasirun, ramthakur, Argus, haraprasan, mariki, jcoowanitwong, marhowie, eqshannon, jaycee, ellis49, NinaM, Adanac, zhelach, angybone, SelenE, horia, pilonm, Necipp, pierrefonds, cataclysta has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To EOSF1: ?joey 1 01-19 10:54
To horia: Camerajoey 1 01-18 09:28
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Critiques [Translate]

This is beautiful Joe. Impressive details on the shot with sparkling eyes. Love the metallic green of the head. Well done.

Nice portrait, Joe.
Very sharp focus and attractive colours.
Well done and TFS.

Hi Joe

Great capture of this mallard. Exceptional sharpness and plumage detail from the S3. Well composed too.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-01-17 3:23]

Hello Joe,
Superb close portrait of a Mallard drake. The quality is up to any SLR and the sharpness and composition are great. The Mallard himself is a fine specimen in sprintime splendour: something to look forward to soon!
TFS this beauty,

Hi Joe,
A lovely captured portrait of this mallard duck. Well composed and fine details. Very good eye contact. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Ohhh what a closeup.Like the color too.

Hi Joe,
A wonderful close-up on this mallard. On the spot focus with brilliant color clarity. Lovely composition. Also enjoy reading the informative note.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-01-17 4:39]

Hola Joe,
precioso trabajo,
bellos colores y tonos,
excelente compo y foco...

Hey, I just looked at this guy in your other post Joe..and darned if he doesn't get better lookin' every time ;}
Very well done,

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-01-17 7:15]

Hi Joe.
Very nice photo Joe. Very sharp and what a beautiful color en green.
I also like Your note, It is interesting.
Saludos My Friend.

Hello Joe,
Good clos up; well composed and great details...

Yikes Mate! He's looking straight at you! Avast...Abandon all hope. The duck is about to attack! Ha, you do make him look larger than life here...as opposed macro lets say...a fine image of almost unusual proportions..

Hello Joe,
Another super fine macro from your little friend!
excellent sharpness on the head plummage with awesome colour and details
very well done again

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-01-17 9:30]

Hi Joe,

Wonderful close-up of this Mallard. The colors are striking. Superb details and textures. The head, eye, and beak are all fantastic. He seems to be smiling.


Hi Joe,
a very nice portrait of the mallard drake, the colors are wonderful.
You mange to get a very good exposure and good sharpness.
And I really like the low POV.
Well done.
Waiting for picture from the new "toy"

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2008-01-17 11:45]

Hi Joe,
Very sharp photo. I always like the green on the head. The colors are superb. You did a great job.


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  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-01-17 12:18]

Hi . Just marking this good picture for now as i am still at work.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-01-17 13:12]

Hello Joey, a closer look to that beautiful mallard, what colours and how close you got!!! They usually don't let us get so near to them. This is perfectly sharp, the light is beautiful, I could touch its bill, that is nice. I like the very close frame so we can enjoy and admire this beauty. thanks!


Hello Joe,

Great portrait of this duck. Great detail. What I prefer is the texture and the shape of the beak. Very nice POV and beautiful colours.
Well done,

Hello Joe!
Beautiful mallard! Impressive colors and details! Well composed too!
TFS, Best regards, Zorica

That color/sheen is excellent. Wonderful shot! Great portrait style shot. Wonderful how you have captured that sparkle in his eye?
Notes are very interesting.

Hi Joe, great portrait elegant bird with splendid colors and amzing details, good sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-01-18 5:58]

Hi Joe,
Another nice capture of this mallard, this time a fine portrait. I liked the colors, contrast and the pose you caught. TFS
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-01-18 8:09]

Hello Joe,
This is a very outstanding closeup showing this beautiful species iridescent green plummage. The details and colors captured are superb as are your notes. Thank you for this great posting Joe.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-01-18 8:31]
  • [+]

I do think you're right about that color, Joe :)
This is definitely a very beautiful species, and luckily enough one that likes to be photographed. This way, we all can enjoy its beauty so nicely, having so many lovely photos of it to delight us...photos like this.

A very well taken image, with an excellent format for a portrait. The reflections and tones and vibrant and stand out well, while the light is very well balanced between the bird and the BG.
Excellent details and very good DOF, too.

I think by now your new "toy" would have arrived, so good luck in having some nice light in the following days ;)

Bravo and TFS

Hello Joe,

In my head, Mallard is one of the cutest duck in the world even if he is so common! And your picture represents so well what I'm saying! You got a perfect POV in order to have the sunlight reflecting perfectly on the feathers of the duck! The colors are amazing and the details very impressive!

Great shot and TFS!


Hello Joe, superb portrait of the mallard. I like the light and the amount of detail you have on the head with fine exposure. Nicely cropped. tfs, Rgds Necip

Hello Joe,
A charming bird... wet but content!
Most like ly just finished his lunch as he looks even more happy than usual...
Good colours and details, I cen see the feathers are still a bit wet!
Pablo -

Hi Joe,

A nice close-up image of the mallard duck which seems to be immobile on the water. The subject is well framed. The point of view is showing with precision the details and colors of the duck. Thanks for sharing.


Hi Joe,
The most beautyfull close-up of this duck on TN, tellemtn naturel on le croirait vivant à côté.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-01-18 21:47]

Hello Joe

That is amazing colour you have captured,the plumage detail is exceptional.
Excellent eye detail,he is keeping a close eye on you.
The POV is wonderful.
Great job.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-01-19 10:07]
  • [+]

Hello Daniel ! Excellent portrait of the Mallard, great details, perfect exposure and very well composed. Thanks !


Hi Joe
Beautiful portrait. Great natural colors, nice tight crop. Perfect sharpness
I like it very much

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