Duck, duck, grey duck?

Or did you play duck, duck, goose as a child?  We see a lot of ducks down here in coastal Texas, and the day these pix were taken, they were hunkered down against the sharp breeze, enjoying a nap.

What really caught my attention, though, was this picture:

Yes, it’s true, ducks close their eyelids.  If you look closely, you can see the bottom eyelid comes up to the top.  Another interesting fact is that ducks have a third eyelid (like many other animals and birds) that closes over the eye from the side.  It’s called a nictitating membrane.  They can see through that third eyelid, which is a good thing when they are flying or diving into the water.

Here you can see it’s a female Northern Shoveler.  Isn’t it interesting how the spots on her beak kind of match the spots on her feathers?  She looks very coordinated and “put together”, so I guess animal prints are still “in”.

Here is the male Northern Shoveler she was hanging out with.  These ducks look a little manic to me — I think it’s the golden eye.

–Sue

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