I saw a rather surprising sight today when I arrived home and stopped on the deck overlooking the Little River to survey the 60+ mallards as they began quacking for their daily ration of scratch meal. There on the far bank was a lone male Wood Duck, of all things. They migrated south in the fall. But you may remember that of the two families of ducklings that I observed all summer, one little male had an undeveloped right wing. He couldn’t migrate with his buddies and I feared he would starve or freeze this winter.
Could this be the same fellow? He didn’t have full adult breeding plumage like this the last time I saw him, but he did have the beginnings of male facial / head markings. I don’t know how long it takes a male Wood Duck to go from sub-adult to adult plumage. While I was watching him, this guy walked on the bank and swam, but never flew.