We “shot” this male Wood Duck yesterday as part of our attempt to monitor and catalog the progress and reversal of these birds’ summer molt (their “eclipse phase”). This male has got a long way to go to regrow his prime plumage.


He and his red-eyed colleagues should be back to magnificent in October, when Wood Ducks usually decide whether to migrate south. But now they're in various stages of recovery from the molt, as can be seen in this mage, also taken yesterday at the same marsh pond:


We haven't seen any females close enough to photograph, even with a big lens; they seem embarrassed to be in such a dreary state compared to their normal beauty. (Brooklin, Maine)