Mallard Magic!

mallard female camouflage
Isn't she gorgeous? What about her amazing camouflage?

flying mallard fenwick dam
The mallards were seen at the Fenwick Street dam in Framingham, MA.

flying mallard 2 fenwick dam
Of course, they flew away as soon as they saw me.

green mallard
A male mallard's head feathers are actually black. The shape of the feather is such that it reflects light in two opposite directions. If the light hits the feather at one angle, you see the color green.

mallard face front
If the light hit at a different angle, you see a blue or purple head color. It is call interference lighting. The same phenomenon is seen in pheasant's neck feathers and in hummingbirds.

mallard fenwick dam
Iridescent green head at the Fenwick Street dam.

blue green mallard
Iridescent blue under the bridge at Wickford Street.


  1. Lovely series Susan, showing how the lighting changes the Mallard's clourful head. FAB.

  2. Love the photos, especially first one: really amazing camouflage.


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