Picture of the Day - "Wood Duck Comparison" - March 31, 2017

Today I decided to do a little research into the male Wood Duck at our local park. We first seen him the end of December, early January and then he disappeared for awhile. After a couple of months, there was a male Wood Duck at the park again. At first I thought it was a different male as he looked and behaved  'different'. But then I thought it could be due to breeding season, but still wondering why he wasn't there for a few months. The female was still around throughout. I was going through my photos today of the wood duck and decided to do a comparison of the two (maybe the same male) for my picture of the day. The thing I noticed first was the beak where the white goes up around his nostril. In the first photo, it stops at the top of the nostril where the second photo it goes slightly beyond the nostril. Also the yellow around the beak has a part coming into the red/orange of the beak in the first one, but not the second one. The pronounced yellow could be due to breeding plumage, but I am wondering if it would also change the position of the yellow extension. Another thing I noticed is the back feathers in the first one is turquoise without any dark blue/black where the second one has blue/black in between the turquoise.

The first photo is taken recently where the second photo was taken back on Dec 31. So, is this the same male, or does Mrs. Wood Duck have a new man?  What do you think? :)

All photos taken with Canon 7D Mk ll & Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM.

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Male Wood Duck taken March 29, 2017

 

 

Male Wood Duck taken December 31, 2016

 

Here is the two of them side by side for comparison.

Photo left: Dec 31, 2016.   Photo right: March 29, 2017