December 7, 2021
It's Duck Week here at #BenInNature, and today we're looking at Mareca strepera, better known as the gadwall!
Gadwall aren't the most showy ducks, and it's easy for someone who doesn't know their ducks very well (like me) to mistake it for a female mallard. However, the male gadwall's black bill and black rump patch help make it easier to identify. You'll often find gadwall in pairs because they select their mates as early as late fall.
Unless you're on the coast, you won't find gadwall year-round in Virginia; they're winter visitors. Look for them in reservoirs, ponds, and even city parks and sewage lagoons.
Check back tomorrow for more ducks!
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends. This series of posts is made possible thanks to the support of VMNH Corporate Partner Carter Bank & Trust (www.cbtcares.com).
NATURE PHOTO IDENTIFICATIONS
If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!