Our nesting Mallard hen brought her family out of the weeds yesterday. She has a duckling of very unusual plumage. An Internet search produced illustrations of similar birds referred to as ‘blonde’ Mallards. The blonde bird has a light-colored bill touched with orange, and orange feet in addition to its golden plumage. One Internet site said this occurs once every 165,000 ducklings. How one gets such an exact number I’m not certain. I do believe the bird is highly unusual. The second photo shows two siblings of normal plumage. We often have ducklings out back, and as the seasons progress predation shrinks the number. I’d like to watch this bird as it grows. What I read, however, states the obvious -- this plumage makes the bird an easy target for predators.