Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Find the ducks

Photo by Marty Horowitz 2/2/2013
Two male and three female Mallards in this photo. The males are pretty easy to pick out; females are much more camouflaged. Why? As a first-grader informed me last week, the females 'have the eggs.' And they generally incubate them as well. For long-term survival, it's best to blend in if you'll be sitting for long periods. Why are the males so brightly colored? Perhaps to draw predators away from the next generation; perhaps because the females like 'em that way. I'm no bird, but it seems to me that if the colorful male has reached breeding age without being eaten, he must have strength and/or speed and thus good genetic materials. Or maybe he's just a lucky ducky.

Yesterday's plant is an Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens), just starting to leaf out. Photo taken from above.

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