The three male Wood Ducks that have been in our local marsh pond this summer were joined by a female last week. All four were convoying together yesterday.

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Their feathers have grown back from the summer molt, which makes the stark difference between the sexes quite apparent. The red-eyed males look like they’re coming home late, still in their Mardi Gras costumes:

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The females look like they’re attending a business conference, where their subdued suits are offset by sexy Cleopatra eye makeup.

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These birds likely will migrate soon, pair in the winter, and mate in early spring. (Brooklin, Maine)