This page and the next show wing growth. The fifth page documents eclipse plumage changes which happen each year in the male mallards.
Page 3 of 5
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This duckling is less than two weeks old.
I often saw ducklings stretching their head forward (to left in this photos) while the wing muscles went upward.
Folding those little wings in after doing some stretching in the water.
This duckling is stretching as far as it can, but that's all the longer the wings are at this point.
The same stretching pose as in the second photo only on an older duckling.
This duckling has already begun growing the bluish stubs of the flight feathers. Its the same age as the duckling in the prior photo.
Although small, the wings are starting to fill in and create a cape when it stretches like this.
The flight feathers are filling in, but still quite a ways to go.
All photos © S. M. Garver