Just a duck

She preens.

I was standing at the edge of the pond at Indian Riverside Park yesterday morning, trying desperately to get a decent shot of a pair of (unidentified) hawks flying from from tree to tree, sometimes swooping low across the water. Or maybe I could get that noisy kingfisher, flashing past then perching and rattle-calling… but it just a bit too fast and far off.

It was one of those days where you don’t get the things you are trying hard to get.

But here was this duck, practically at my feet.

“Look at me. I am beautiful,” she said. And so I did.

Florida Mottled Ducks are relatives of mallards but the male does not have a green head and looks a lot like the female. You can tell them apart by the color of the bill: males’ are yellow and females’ are orange.

The Florida mottled duck, often called the Florida duck or Florida mallard, is a unique subspecies found only in peninsular Florida. This nonmigratory duck spends its entire life within the state’s brackish and freshwater marshes, ponds, lakes, rivers, canals, ditches, and mosquito impoundments on the east and west coasts and inland.

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