One of the easiest ducks to recognize is the male Mallard in breeding plumage. Its iridescent green head and white neck ring are unique. But it’s not always that easy. Males transition to eclipse plumage in the summer and can be confused with females. Eclipse plumage represents a time when males are unable to fly and are vulnerable to predators.
So, how do you know if it’s a male Mallard in eclipse plumage? Look at the colour of the bill. If it’s yellow, it’s a male; if it’s orange, it’s a female.
These male Mallards were photographed at William Cosgrove Centennial Park in DDO.