In the beginning of November (2005) I counted over 40 mallards on the Middle Pond at Earth Sanctuary. Male Mallards have distinctive plumage as in the photo above, which for some reason is my most viewed bird photo on Flickr. I learned from Yvonne Palka that juvenile Mallards all look like the females until the first breeding season when males will develop their distinctive plumage. Did you know that the males go into “eclipse” plumage this time of year – looking a lot like the females except with a rustier breast and a slight blackish sheen to their heads if you catch them in the right light? They will get their breeding plumage back come December-January, which may be when the juvenile males will get their plumage as well.