Eclipse Plumage

Most ducks shed their body feathers twice each year. Nearly all drakes

lose their bright plumage after mating, and for a few weeks resemble

females. This hen-like appearance is called the eclipse plumage. The

return to breeding coloration varies in species and individuals of each

species. Blue-winged teal and shovelers may retain the eclipse plumage

until well into the winter.

Wing feathers are shed only once a year; wing colors are always the


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