Brown Ducks

This mallard really is a female.

“They’re all females! Where did the males go?”

My friend and I were newbie birders; I’d started keeping a “Life List” only two months earlier. August found us at our favorite spot—the local nature center’s ponds. As usual, the water was covered with ducks and other waterfowl. But the more we stared through our binoculars, the more confused we got. All the ducks were brown! What had happened to the familiar green heads of the mallards? We figured that some of the “females” must be immature males, but where were the adults? (more…)