Gadwalling About

Anas streperaGadwall (Anas strepera) are a sort of stealth duck, present throughout the winter months but often not noticed with their subdued plumage. This is a long shot photo, but closer views show this plumage is quite spectacular, if not colorful. These three males are some of the handful usually floating between the piers at Brooklyn Bridge Park. They are all showing their nictitating membrane, or third eyelid, here.

“Gadwall” is a puzzler. The species is wide-spread in the northern hemisphere; we’ve inherited the name from the English. The OED says the origin of the word is uncertain, “perh[aps] imit[ative]” ~ from the sound they make? Their ducky calls aren’t very gaddy…. Choate’s wonderful Dictionary of American Bird Names quotes two not-sures, one suggesting the Anglo-Saxon gad, for point, from the tooth-like points on the mandible, as the source.

0 Responses to “Gadwalling About”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Share

Bookmark and Share

Join 492 other followers

Twitter

Nature Blog Network

Archives


%d bloggers like this: