A Bluebird And A Mystery Duck

A mystery duck in the Discovery Pond at Jester Park, Iowa, March 30, 2018.

On the last Friday in March, a mystery duck swam with a male mallard in the Discovery Pond at Jester Park, Iowa. I heard about the mystery duck from one of the park caretakers while I watched migrating ducks in a different pond.

The mystery duck had brown feathers on his body, iridescent green feathers on his head, and curled feathers in the back. He appeared slightly larger than his mallard duck friend.

I looked online for clues to his identity later. He is likely a domestic mallard or a cross between a mallard and another wild duck.

On the drive out of the park, I passed a bluebird pair house hunting, flirting, and feeding. The female bluebird stopped long enough to say “Hello!”

A mystery duck and a male mallard duck in the Discovery Pond at Jester Park, Iowa, March 30, 2018.

A male mallard duck in the Discovery Pond at Jester Park, Iowa, March 30, 2018.

A mystery duck and a male mallard duck in the Discovery Pond at Jester Park, Iowa, March 30, 2018

A female eastern bluebird in Jester Park, Iowa, March 30, 2018.

A female eastern bluebird in Jester Park, Iowa, March 30, 2018.

Take care and thanks for reading.



About Sarah

nature, outdoor, and health enthusiast, book reader, and story teller
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15 Responses to A Bluebird And A Mystery Duck

  1. zirah1 says:

    Great pictures and I LOVE the idea of a mystery duck to make things even more interesting. Wonder if it’s a female and that’s why the male mallard was staying close by? Both ducks have wonderful coloring! And it’s always fun to see blue birds. I think of it being a good omen whenever I see them around here because of the “blue bird of happiness” connotation, plus they’re such little cuties. πŸ™‚

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Zirah πŸ™‚

      Thanks for visiting and your kindness! I am happy you had fun seeing the mystery duck and the bluebird. πŸ™‚ It is a curiosity how the mystery duck appeared in the pond since the people who work at the park didn’t put the duck there. I don’t know whether the duck is male or female. For wild ducks, the female generally has low key feathers and a pattern that blends in with grasses and such. The mystery duck had the curved tail feathers that are characteristic of mallards and his head was tinged with the same green as the male mallard. I looked up ducks when I got home and it is most likely a domestic mallard although it could be the result of a pairing of a mallard with a different wild duck. I didn’t realize there were domestic mallards until I looked up who this might be. It is nice for him (or her) that he had a mallard duck friend. They were walking in the grass looking for seeds and then flew into the lake and swam around before taking a floating nap. A few days later, I passed by the pond and saw them again. Perhaps, they have decided it is a nice place to stay. The Discovery Pond is across the road from a group of cabins. There is usually a lot of activity around the pond. People fish in it and paddle canoes. I hadn’t been checking it for migrating ducks since they are shy and I didn’t think it would be a pond they would like.

      I love the bluebirds. πŸ™‚ I saw quite a few of them that day. They were all very busy looking for insects. They have a courting routine when it comes to finding a nesting spot and a mate. I saw the pair at a birdhouse by the road on the way out and stopped the car to watch them. I hope to record the courting activity at a birdhouse some day. They were too quick to leave this time. I watched them fly around the area looking for bugs and the female landed on a tree branch close to me for a moment. They are adorable! πŸ™‚

      • zirah1 says:

        Will be so interesting to see what happens w/ the two ducks. Never knew there were domestic mallards either, but maybe they mean the ducks I’ve seen that stay/basically live on the grounds of golf courses and places that have water? Or there’s some hotel that is famous for the ducks that parade thru on a daily basis. ????

        • Sarah says:

          From what I read, people have been breeding mallard ducks and other ducks for a while. Here is the link for one of the articles I read when I was trying to figure out the identity of the duck.


          I didn’t see a photo that looked exactly like the duck in the Discovery Pond. The duck has distinctive curved tail feathers like the mallard ducks. The linked article says that only mallards and the Hawaiian ducks have those. The duck was slightly bigger than its mallard friend. I am curious how it got there. Did it fly away from wherever it was being kept or did someone leave it there? Curiosity will compel me to keep checking to see if they are still there and probably take more photos and videos if they are. I have only been out with the camera a few times this year so far because of the unusually cold weather.

  2. Looks so pretty and mysterious ☺️😍

  3. Philip Blanchard says:

    That’s Maverick and Goose! I adopted them from the ARL a couple months ago. Both are actually domestic ducks, Maverick is rouen (basically a large domestic mallard) and Goose is a cayuga. I’d love to hear anymore stories about them if anyone else saw them.
    You can see them on Facebook at The Adventures of Webster’s Welshies and the Blanchard family ducks.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi πŸ™‚
      Thanks for visiting and your comment! I am happy to hear the ducks have a good home now! πŸ™‚ I saw them throughout the summer off and on at the discovery pond. I only knew about the ducks because someone who works at the park told me about them when I was taking photos of migrating ducks in one of the ponds in the Bison and Elk Enclosure. I went to investigate and took these photos and then keep a lookout for them during the summer. Very handsome ducks!

    • zirah1 says:

      How great to know this back story on them and I love that you named them after Top Gun characters! Hope to hear more about their adventures in the future.

      • Philip Blanchard says:

        I have a Facebook page “The Adventures of Webster’s Welshies and the Blanchard ducks” and also Instagram “websters_welshies” that has the adventures of them and our other ducks.

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