Tuesday, August 24, 2010

mmackk, mmackk, Quack!!

mallard quacking gif

or  What does a polite duck say 
 when you are stepping on their foot?
 Then they probably beak you!!

Okay, I know that was a horrible try at a joke to start the Wednesday Wizards winning posts,
and we do have Winning Wizards, even some new ones!!
So if you didn't figure it out from my photo clues last week, which I had turned this way and that, but never manipulated or from my rather stinky try at a humorous beginning ... it was a beautiful pair of Mallard ducks swimming along at Lake Harriet in Minnesota a few years ago. They are always so much fun to watch, especially when they are still doing the courtship dance.

Here is the photo the clue was cropped from...

click to enlarge,
please do not copy without permission

This photo was from a nice day visiting with our son, daughter-in-law and grandsons. We often take walks or drives to many of the beautiful parks and lakes in the area. 

How about a little fun facts on our friend the Mallard before I announce this weeks Wednesday Wizards?

The Mallard, or Wild duck, is  probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks, is a dabbling duck ( known to graze upon the surface of the water and rarely dive) which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand , and Australia. 
The handsome male birds, (drake) have a bright green head, while the female's is light brown. The mallard lives in wetlands, eats mostly water plants, and is very sociable. It is also migratory. The mallard is the ancestor of all domestic ducks (except the Muscovy Duck), and has been known to interbreed with other species of ducks. This interbreeding is causing the rarer species of ducks to become genetically diminished.

The first Duck Stamp (1934-1935), a brush and ink drawing of Mallards by Jay N. "Ding" Darling, a famous cartoonist and noted conservationist sold for one dollar 
(635,001 stamps were sold)

The breeding male is unmistakable, with a bright green head, black rear end and a yellowish orange (can also contain some red) bill tipped with black (as opposed to the dark brown bill in females). The female mallard (hen) is light brown, like most female dabbling ducks. However, both the female and male mallards have distinct purple speculum feathers edged with white, prominent in flight or at rest (though temporarily shedded during the annual summer molt). During the non-breeding season plumage, the drake becomes drab, looking more like the female, but still can be recognized by its yellow bill and reddish breast.

mallard speculum photo
speculum photo from Wikipedia

Mallard pairs are generally monogamous. Mallard pairs form long before the spring breeding season. Pairing can start as early as in the fall, but courtship can be seen all winter in and out of the water with elaborate displays. Once the female lays eggs, she is left by the male, although there are a few instances where the male has stayed longer to help with the family. The clutch is 8–13 eggs, which are incubated for 27–28 days to hatching with 50–60 days to fledgling. The ducklings can swim and feed themselves on insects as soon as they hatch, although they stay near the mama for protection.

click to enlarge, do not copy without permission
 A mating pair that travels across a busy road daily to eat
at my aunts yard in central Wisconsin.
Must be deciding what to do between meals?
click to enlarge, do not copy without permission

Considered a noisy species, the male has a nasal call, 
the female has the "quack" typically associated with ducks.

and one not so nice fact... 

After they pair off with mating partners, often one or several drakes will end up "left out". This group will sometimes target an isolated female duck: chasing, pestering and pecking at her until she weakens (a phenomenon referred to by researchers as rape flight), at which point each male will take turns copulating with the female. Male mallards will also occasionally chase other males in the same way. A paired male has been know to join after leaving its female. These forced copulations are not preceded by wonderful mating displays as seen in a paired mate. 
Facts gathered from Wikipedia, Cornell.edu & other places

I guess the human race is not the only violent
  thing on the planet...


On to announcing out Winning Wednesday Wizards that correctly figured out the mystery photo from last week. Remember you are now entitled to grab the "I am a Wednesday Wizard" button and proudly display it anywhere on your blog, person or automobile...(grin)!
This weeks 14 Wizards! are (in no particular order)

  Please let me know if I have over looked anyone.
A big round of applause and a tip of the pointy
   Wizard Hat to you all!

I hope you take a moment and visit these interesting, fun and knowledgeable blogs, and see what they have to offer. 
  Mr. Linky will be below for anyone who wants to play along or leave a link to something fun to find, including links to Wordless/Wordful or Watery Wednesday.

orange clue

But first here are two little clues to mull over for next week...

orange clue

I dug deep into hubby's photo files to share these.
I did not manipulate them in any way,
sorry they are so small.

I hope you enjoy the beautiful answers next week. 

Remember to leave your guess in the comments below.
(it is not what looks like an orange peel)
 Mmuaakk, Quackk!

  Until next time,
   keep your brain active!


  1. great shots for a great WW post.

  2. Anonymous8:54 PM

    Well, the orange peel or shell is easy to pick out, but then you have to look close to see the bird legs. A very red breast, but I am not going to guess robin. I want to go more exotic and guess oriole enjoying an orange.

  3. woohoo! Well, I do know my ducks since I did grow up near one of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota!

    This week's perhaps is a robin? It seems a little too orange for that, though.

  4. looks like an orange peel to me!

  5. Definitely looks like an old orange peel to me.

  6. Part of the photo is what is left of an orange. That is not the answer I am looking for.

  7. How cute are they?!?

    And I'd say an orange!

  8. Anonymous10:36 PM

    Nice duck pics - I always seem to get their backs, lol. Oh and I say that pic is from putting oranges out for when the Orioles fly over? Happy

  9. Great shots of the ducks. However do you always have such great wildlife? And I guess orange peel. Happy WW! Thanks for droppin by.

  10. Ok I see the legs, wish I could enlarge it to see what the grey is I suppose the side of a block of weathered wood perhaps. I have to go with Robin it's the only bird I'm familiar with that color except for a sort of similar brightly breasted variety of bluebird we see very rarely.

  11. Haha we do have both ends of the duck don’t we! At least yours were all polite enough to show their best side to the camera!!!

  12. Shish-kebob? This one is tough.

    We have mallards living out in our slough out back. Unfortunately I've been witness to the unsavory side of being a mallard. Not the nicest thing to witness.

  13. Hmmm... Looks like a Robin taking a gander at an orange peel? Not sure exactly what type of bird, but I see it.

  14. Hm... I have no clue where to even start with this one, I'll have to come back after I think it through some more.

  15. great shots of the ducks. that looks like a robin enjoying the orange.

  16. Fabulous and oh so very colorful the ducks are!!!

    My Wednesday Photo Do stop by if you can!!

  17. Yay, I got it right! Thanks Faythe for the badge :)... Very informative post regarding ducks, very interesting about violent mating as I just saw a video on youtube about sharks mating, imagine those teeth and how they leave a hell of a love-bite!

    Oooh, I can't resist to give it a go again this time. I think it looks like a pair of bird's legs. I'm guessing a canary. It's probably eating out that piece of fruit, or whatever left of a fruit. And the bottom looks wooden, maybe a pole?... This is addictive, I can't wait for the answer next week!

  18. Wonderful pictures. I love wildlife shots.

  19. Little duckies. Hmm. My human Tommy sees them up at the pond in the park up the street from our house.She says last year they had 4 little baby ducks. I like the pictures. Sure, I'm cat and everything is NOT my prey.... :)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Tommy is from the faraway land of Iowa. She says you're land is close to there...

  20. Cute ducks! We love to go down to the pond to feed ducks near our house.

  21. Gosh, I always thought ducks were so nice ... who knew? Looks like a bird standing on a piece of bread. =)

  22. Yay, I got last weeks :) I'd guess a bird on a piece of orange. But I really have no clue!

  23. Wow those are wonderful photos! My BIL has a pond with a few pet ducks. They really are gorgeous animals :)

  24. I know I know!!!! It's a Baltimore Oriole on an orange peel!! I try in vain to attract them to my front porch rail in this very manner but they snub me harrumph! :) I love your Wednesday Wizards photos!

  25. That's definitely a cracked duck egg. Right?
    Anyhow, I swear, that pair of Mallards looks like the pair that spent a couple weeks swimming on the cover of my swimming pool last year! (although I'm sure they all look pretty similar, lol) I like ducks. And Mallards. Now..Canadian Geese? They sorta scare me. They are so big!

  26. Actually I see ducks all the time too because I live very close to the Fox River. As far as your picture there. At first it does look like an old orange peel, but it could be one of those pink grapefruit peels too considering there's still pulp in there. That's what grapefruit peels look like not oranges. The bird Hmmmm well it could be a bird (Robin), but I'm wondering if it's not a cardinal. hmmmm

  27. Okay I'll take a guess. Yes they are orange peels however they seem to be attached to a squirrel or animal/bird feeder, it looks like a fence post. I do see the nails holding down the Peels. I would put seeds in the peel for larger birds to enjoy. Although I'm sure the chipmunks, squirrels and smaller critters whould enjoy this stop.
    In the photo I see the chest of what looks like a robin feeding on the Orange peel or what's in it.
    so that is my guess for you.

  28. I'm going to guess it is a robin enjoying what's left of the orange. The wood could be a fencepost.
    I think I got last week's because I've taken so many pics of mallards for the last three years. :)

  29. Holy crud - that is almost too much duck information. I never knew that about ducks. I am not sure if I am intrigued or disgusted.

  30. great photos of the ducks! they look so cute. :)thanks for sharing more info about these animals.

  31. It looks like an orange peel and a bird to me.

  32. Well you can definitely tell that is an orange peel and a bird, but I'm not sure which type of bird.

  33. My guess is a robin eating an orange peel on a park bench . . . we'll see if I get to be a wizard!!

  34. How funny. I didn't realize male ducks had the nasal sound. As for my guess this week, I think it's a broken pumpkin....

  35. Fun to remember. Lake Harriet. We lived a block away the summer we were married and I was doing summer school at the U.
    The stamp by Ding Darling. We had a wonderful visit last spring at the National Wildlife refuge named after him near Fort Myers, Florida. :)


Thank you for stopping and reading today.
Comments are always welcome :)