Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Mandarin Duck

Can there be a more elaborate pattern of avian colours outside of the rainforest and the outrageous Bird of Paradise? The male Mandarin Duck's patchwork quilt of hues reminds me a little of a child's drawing of what a duck should be like or a jigsaw puzzle of elements drawn from elsewhere. By contrast, of course, the female is a little more subdued, with grey-brown body feathers and distinctive white eye ring descending down toward the nape of the neck. She is almost a negative print of her partner.

Canon 1DS MkII, 1/160 sec, f8, 400mm at ISO 200

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