May I introduce
Six wee ones and me
The paradise shelduck is a conspicuous and colourful species with contrasting male and female plumage. Between a large duck and a small goose in size, the male is uniformly dark grey or black while the female body is a dark or light chestnut (depending on age and state of moult).
The male’s head is black with occasional green iridescence and the female’s head and upper neck is white. Both sexes have a chestnut undertail, black primary wing feathers, green secondary wing feathers and a conspicuously white upper wing surface. Variable amounts of white may occur on the heads of males during the eclipse moult (February-May) and newly-fledged juvenile females may retain an extensive black head with a white face patch until they complete their post-juvenal moult (by May).The bill, legs and feet are dark grey/black.
Down-covered ducklings appear initially as “mint humbugs”, patterned brown-and-white. The first feathers are dark, and near-fledged ducklings of both sexes resemble the adult male. ~ Bernard