Readers’ wildlife photos

March 27, 2020 • 7:45 am

Here we have DUCK PHOTOS from evolutionary biologist John Avise, and he’s posed them as a quiz: “Name the ducks” (there are four species). Try your best, and I’ll post the answers this afternoon (if you access the names of the photos, you’ll also know, but don’t look). John’s notes are indented:

Many species of “puddle ducks” or “dabbling ducks” characteristically feed in a “tip-up” posture, with their butt pointed skyward and their head and neck stretched downward to feed off the substrate in shallow waters.  In the following photos,  I will first show each species in one or more tip-up poses before showing them in their regular swimming mode.  See if you can identify each species from its tip-up appearance alone.  All of these duck species are common in the winter in Southern California.

Species #1:

Species #2:

Species #3 (several poses)

Species #4 (several poses):

You’d better know this one!


13 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

    1. Almost, but think of a different implement for #1!

      This isn’t too hard for birders, but note how mallard-like the female of #3 is. This can be a tricky I’d, but she’s usually accompanied by the more distinctive male in my neck of the woods (Ottawa, Canada).

  1. Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Gadwall and Mallard. I get to enjoy all four of these species when they visit the flooded fields next to my house in winter.

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