So instead, here is another photograph from the past. This photograph was taken on June 12th 2009 at Mill Pond Park in Mt. Pleasant. This image shows a pair of Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) on the tip of a small island in the Chippewa River. I realize that this is not a "glamour shot" of these ducks but the majority of my photographs aren't. However it serves a useful purpose - this image shows the differing appearances of the drake or male duck (left) and the hen or female (right).
|Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) along the Chippewa River - 12 JUN 2009|
Species that have an obvious difference between the male and female are exhibiting a property known as sexual dimorphism. In birds this property is often expressed as a difference in coloration. Most birds that are sexually dimorphic will have males with bright plumage and females with dull feathers. Bright colors on a male bird will indicate that he is healthy and a suitable mate; the drab colors of the female are useful camouflage when she is most vulnerable, sitting on the nest incubating her eggs.