Re: ?Juvenile Wood Duck at Stow Lake 6/22/14

Peter Pyle

Hi all -

The scraggly Wood Duck is a healthy adult male which is gaining it's alternate or "eclipse" plumage. Male ducks do this in June so that they can be more camouflaged during the simultaneous wing molt in July-August, at which time they are flightless for 2-3 weeks. They hide in deep woods or swamps at this time. The feathers on this bird are particularly filamentous looking. Alternate feathers are typically weak as they will be replaced again in a couple of months and do not need to be that strong.


At 11:56 AM 6/24/2014, Grace Ruth gwruth@... [SFBirds] wrote:


I photographed the two male wood ducks a couple weeks ago at Stow Lake.  At that time they both looked healthy.  Since then I've noticed that one of the two looks scraggly and not so healthy.  Perhaps others have noticed?
Grace Ruth, San Francisco

On Tuesday, June 24, 2014 9:51 AM, "sfbirdwatcher@... [SFBirds]" wrote:


I was at Stow Lake on Sunday and saw the two male wood ducks mentioned previously on this board.  However, one of them looked unusual (at least to me) in that he had downy-type feathers on the top of his head and a mottled breast.  I have posted a picture in the Album titled "Wood Duck - Stow Lake."  Can you tell me if this is a juvenile wood duck, and if so, does that mean wood ducks are breeding in the park?

On that same day, I also saw a single male California Quail in the arboretum in the grassy lawn area immediately north of the Wildfowl Pond by the bushes to the left of the Norfolk Pine.

Good birding,

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