Recently I went to a nearby industrial park in Glendale that has some beautiful water birds. So far this fall I've only seen mallard ducks. This summer the pond was drained and left for awhile, and just recently did the mallards show up. I'm hoping the white-crested ducks make an appearance, and some gorgeous geese, but it probably depends on the management of the park. Unless they are independent, and park wherever they want. Come to think of it, there were a couple of ducks in my back yard about five years ago. So who knows? Maybe the other ducks and geese have been up in the mountains during the summer. Can't blame them. The word duck comes from Old English *duce "diver", a derivative of the verb *ducan "to duck, bend down low as if to get under something, or dive", because of the way many species in the dabbling duck group feed by upending (Wikipedia).
Mallards are beautiful creatures. The males are especially beautiful, but a thorough look at the females reveals a dignified, design-rich beauty as well. Just more subdued. Wikipedia says that some people use "duck" specifically for adult females and "drake" for adult males, while others use "hen" and "drake," respectively. A duckling is a young duck in downy plumage or baby duck; but in the food trade young adult ducks ready for roasting are sometimes labeled "duckling."
"Ducks are generally monogamous," says Wikipedia, "although these bonds generally last a single year only. Larger species and the more sedentary species (like fast river specialists) tend to have pair-bonds that last numerous years. Most duck species breed once a year, choosing to do so in favourable conditions (spring/summer or wet seasons). Ducks also tend to make a nest before breeding."
It was a crazy, wonderful, beautiful day in the Greater Phoenix area. Clean, clear, and cool. I grabbed my rake and headed first for the front yard, where I cleaned up piles of pine needles I'd left last evening. It got dark too early and I had to quit raking. Once I completed my work, I jumped in my red Kia Soul and headed for a favorite shopping area on McDowell Road in Avondale. On the way, I passed fields of lush green sorghum, and stopped to take a few shots. I stopped further south and took some shots of a huge cotton field, but those pix didn't turn out that well. On to shopping, then back north. I drove through the Glendale Industrial Park to check out the duck and goose population in one of the ponds. Got a few good shots, but my favorites, the white-crested ducks, were missing, as were all geese. The city had emptied the pond recently and perhaps they bring back the various species at different times. Or not. I'm going over tomorrow morning when the sun is lower in the sky, and hope to get a few really good shots. Back to work, then time for lunch. Front door wide open. Cats parked contentedly at the front door watching birds, people, vehicles, and who knows what else. All through the day, I kept thinking of my son, Ron Simpson, who celebrated his birthday today. He is something special. Happy Birthday again, Ron! I didn't have to close the house up until late this afternoon. Eighty-four inside was a bit much.