Mallard Duck Contour Feathers

Among the most well known of all waterfowl, the mallard is commonly found in the wild in the Northern Hemisphere, but has also been domesticated for meat and feather production. As shown above, mallard duck contour feathers have a unique grouping of hooks that forms near the base of the barbule. The male mallard, called a drake, is highly recognizable due to its metallic green head with a white ring around the neck, reddish chest area, grayish body, and purple or blue speculum. Females, on the other hand, more closely resemble other types of dabbling ducks, exhibiting spotted light brown hues. Both sexes have a reputation for being noisy, but the calls they make are somewhat different. The males are often said to make a nasal kind of sound, while the females produce the customary quacking noise typically associated with ducks.

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