1 Mottled Ducks 2
Mottled Duck
Mottled Duck
I was looking, unsuccessfully, for a new kind of butterfly to take a picture of, and practicing with my still new enough that I need a lot of practice camera, when these two ducks flew over and landed side by side right in front of me. I wish I'd been quicker with the camera, but at least I took two pictures before they got out of range. Here is the larger view of each of the two photos, and full size crops of the ducks in each.
Since I'm not a bird expert, I emailed Wendy to find out what my ducks were. Here's her reply: "Your ducks I think are American Black Ducks...yes, I know they are brown in color but that's what they call them. These were difficult because you only had pictures of the heads. If they are American black ducks (and they are ALL over the place) then I would guess that the one with the yellow beak is female and the one with the orange beak is a male. Also..... in case you can get a shot of the tail feathers.... they should have white tail feathers. If the tail feathers are all dark then you might have a Mottled Duck.
I posted an ID request for the Eastern Phoebe on the bird forum, and got a lot of feedback on my ducks. AlexC posted a great explanation of why he thinks my ducks are Mottled - thanks Alex! I photographed them Thursday, March 06, 2008 in Palm Beach County, Florida. I'm no birder (laughing as I say that after several days of stalking birds with my camera), but as I dip my feet into birding, the first thing I've noticed is that the first question that comes up when I ask for help identifying a bird from a photograph is, "Where and when did you take the picture?"

After AlexC posted, cajanuma and birderbf joined the discussion, so I want to thank all three of them, and Wendy, for helping me figure out my ducks: Thanks folks!

I did not repeat the details of the answers I got on the bird forum here because I think it's fair and appropriate to send you to their site to view it for yourself (as much as it pains me to say that because I'd love to have visitors here too:)

Mottled Duck
Mottled Duck
Mottled Duck
Mottled Duck
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