Yesterday when I was hiking by a lake, I spotted an interesting duck I’d never seen before hanging out with the mallards by the shore. It was mostly black, with a white underbelly & neck. I’m thinking it was some kind coot(click on the link for a picture: imgres ), or possibly a merganser(imgres ).

All of the ducklings have become mature ducks by now; when you look at a group of them, you could never tell the difference. What’s interesting is that now that the breeding seasons over, the ducks groups are basically all female, & the males are mostly off by themselves, until next season, when they’ll group together again & find their old mates from last season.