Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Odd Ducks

I found a website by Kevin McGowan that has a page called Confusing Domestic Ducks. This is a good place to visit if you find a duck that is not in your birding book. Mallard and Muscovy ducks are the only two breeds that have been domesticated and mutations can end up in the wild. I previously posted pictures of a completely white "male mallard" and this past week, I found some more odd looking ducks.

The green-headed "mallard" looked very ragged and scarred and its partner...well, your guess is as good as mine. They were an obvious pair and spent a fair bit of time grooming their feathers together before they swam down the river again.

I was walking on a trail in London, Ontario along the Thames River a couple of weeks ago and saw far too many Canada Geese. The lone variation was this odd goose, which I cannot find in any of my books.
Here is the backside of the same bird, which seemed to be getting along famously with all the other geese.

Birds aren't the only things that can show up in unusual outfits. This fisherman caught my eye a little ways down the Thames River.

I wonder if the ducks and geese looked at him and said, "What an odd human. I don't see his likeness in our guide book."

Does anyone have any idea what these birds may be?


  1. Ruth--thanks for the chuckle. The birds commenting on our appearance. Well, I must say there is probably more variation among humans than any other species!

  2. Is that an umbrella on his head? I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like that on a human before either!

    I'm not very good at ID'ing waterfowl of any kind, so I can't help you with those ducks and goose.

  3. That last pic looks like someone just stuck an umbrella on a headless man lol. :D

  4. Becka is right! LOL! I don't see waterfowl often but I enjoyed this post. Odd duck, indeed!

  5. You just gotta envy a guy who is that intent on his hobby. Do you suppose his wife knows he's out there traipsing around like that? (Wonder where I can find a hat like that:-)

  6. Ruth - I found something that may be your goose. Perhaps it's a young White-fronted goose. Here's the link:
    You can 'google' Hocking Valley Waterfowl Identification Key and scroll down to White-fronted goose. Yours at least looks like a variant.

  7. Anonymous6:19 am GMT-4

    I think one of your ducks - one with the mallard - looks a bit like the "Blue Swede" that has taken up residence at our Audubon Center:

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  9. Hello, body soul and spirit
    I think the first ducks are Pekin Ducks or Domestic Mallards and the goose like an Egyptian or Swan Goose.

  10. KGMom- You are right. People watching can be the best pastime ever!

    RuthieJ- Yes that is a hat umbrella. I have seen them in the Dollar Store, usually with a Canadian Flag for Canada Day. I hadn't seen one worn before this. It does give good sun protection. ;-)

    Becka- Yes it does look like an umbrella on a torso!

    Mary- I'm sure you know some odd ducks too.

    Cathy- I saw no woman around. Maybe it is a good luck fishing hat. My husband's good luck fishing hats are not as garish.

    Jennifer- Yes, the Blue Swede is a close match to this bird. If these are a pair, is the black and white bird a female??

    Cathy- That is a good website. A good possibility. The Snow Goose has alternate plumage according to my guide, but they don't show any pictures.

    Birdman- Were you checking in your most excellent Sibley Guide? I need another bird book for sure.

  11. I don't know about the ducks, but the goose is a Graylag Goose, also sometimes called Barnyard Goose. It's considered a domestic waterfowl which is why you might see it in your books. They very often hang out Canada Geese.

  12. I've mixed up the Greyling Goose with something that looks similar before.-Just because they're not the real thing, we can still enjoy watching them right?


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