Friday, November 27, 2009

The One with a Boy Named... Stella?

Yes, it's true... we are surprised to announce that we have two drakes. Over the last couple of days, we discovered the reason we haven't been blessed with any eggs: we are likely the proud dogs of two male ducks!

Just before Thanksgiving, mom noticed that Stella's tail feathers were starting to curl up instead of laying flat. She did some reading and, apparently, after the first molting season, a male Pekin's "sex feathers" will appear. Not when they reach maturity, as she first believed. Interestingly as "her" feathers began the tell-tale curl, Wally's curl began to flatten out more than usual! Apparently, this phenomenon is common though. Let me show you what I mean...

This was the first day they arrived. Notice Stella's flat feathers. (Wally's curling feathers are a little hard to see in these photos but you can click to enlarge them.)

One month ago: Wally still has a curling feather and Stella's feathers are still pretty flat!

And this is now. The orange arrows in the first couple of photos show you where to look for the curl!

The mystery is Wally... his feathers are now lying mostly flat, he's significantly lighter than Stella, his feet are smaller and he's not as brightly colored. All signs of a female duck... or perhaps his poor nutrition early in life? Not to mention he's noisier!! Mom read that females quack and quack a lot! While males do quack but it's a raspier, less-quack-like sound. Wally certainly quacks... while Stella mostly whistles and "burps." Regardless, I think it's safe to conclude we have two boys living amongst us! (If an egg appears, I'll be sure to update you!)

So now, the count: 4 girls to 3 boys. I wonder if a female puppy will end up on our couch one of these days so us girls can pull further ahead in the numbers again. :: wink wink ::

Either way, Wally is getting a real kick out of all of this!

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