What species are we…

Hello All: I went on a little outing this afternoon and took my camera with me, just in case I might see a bird or two. And I did, more than I thought! In fact, I will post another picture from this outing soon on this site.

[UPDATE: I should point out that these photos were taken on Vancouver, B.C.’s North Shore]

For now, I would like to show you this pair of ducks and ask you: Do you know what species it is? Or is it more than one species, perhaps (even thought they were clearly hanging out together)? Major clues to look at: 1) The size and colour of the bill and 2) the shape of the top of the head. My National Geographic field guide helped me sort it all out, BTW.

DSC_0046

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4 responses to “What species are we…

  1. After looking in my guides my guess is Gadwall male and female. The bills would be lighter colored in the female like your pic and colors/pattern seem close.. If that is wrong I am clueless! Great pic btw!

  2. Chris talkington

    Looks more like a female Barrows Goldeneye and a young male Common Goldeneye to me .

  3. Gadwall is not a bad guess, but aside from the fact that they are oddly rare in this region, the bill of the female is not long enough and the male’s faded white spot close to the eye is out of place. In general, too, the shapes of these ducks are long since Gadwalls are more elongated (like Mallards).
    The Goldeneyes answer, however, is correct: the one with an orange bill is a female Barrow’s and the other is a first year male Common. Hybrids of this species do occur and it seems there will be at least one more in this region!

  4. Interesting. Looking forward to seeing them all.