Gaddy is so beautiful! He is one of two (possibly three) gadwall ducks that live at Lake Murray all year around. More visit in the winter, but this winter there have been very few. He has a sister, but doesn't spend time with her at all. And, sometimes I see his mother, but I don't think I've seen her lately.
I used to think that Gaddy's mother was half mallard (which would make him 1/4 mallard), but now I'm not so sure because he looks to be a perfect gadwall. I know his father was a full-blooded gadwall who died right around the time Gaddy and his sister hatched. Gaddy is even more beautiful than his dad.
Neither Gaddy nor his sister had offspring last year. I don't even think their mom had any ducklings, either, perhaps because there weren't any male gadwalls around when she was ready to breed. I know that Gaddy likes to follow around a certain mallard female and his sister is bonded to a mallard male, but I've never seen either of them breeding.
The female mallard he tends to follow around looks like this female who doesn't like this male mallard at all. She never fights with Gaddy.
I wanted to add that today I saw a common yellowthroat hopping around right at my feet, which is very unusual. Unfortunately, it was very dark out and my shutter was pretty slow, so the photo is blurred. My quest for a perfect common yellowthroat photo continues.