Hope they stay with you to brighten things up this winter. Pretty water birds are very popular with the rich and famous along the nearby Thames towpath at Henley, especially the exotic mandarin ducks, but also well liked are the highly variagated mallard descended ducks, like yours. A few unusual ducks taking refuge from Russian weather are just starting to appear now and there is just this one lonesome Australian black swan I feel sorry for as he tries to pair up with mute swan females – who reject him because obviously they are racists..!
Most people like the odd duck. Something new to watch I guess, that and the fact that you can discern one odd duck from another, even giving each one a name, (usually like Bent Feather, White Spot, Grey Tail, or such discriptive names). How many people can recognise individual wild mallards well enough to give them names?
That might be one reason why dogs are so varied, people favored the distinctive puppy in the litter – the one you can discern from the other pups.
I have been amazed at how poorly even older children are at recognising one puppy from another puppy even in piebald litters. I think has to do with the fact that the left and right sides of a puppy can be different
– a child showing off the litter for sale might call the same puppy “Snowy” if the mostly white left side is showning, but fail to recognise “Snowy” if the darker zigzag splashed right side is visiable.
I have heard one child ask a sibling where one puppy was (like: “Where’s Lightning?” and then look all around for Lightning (so named for a white zigzag of fur on ONE side) and then later discover Lightning playing with the rest of the litter – where Lightning had been the whole time, perfectly hidden because his other side was toward the child.
My guess, based on answers from children, is that the puppy who is never hidding from them is usually most favored – that is the puppy they can spot the easiest, like the only pup with a full white neck which can be seen from both sides, or the only pup of his color in the litter – the rare or odd pup.
The only time I think this to NOT be the case is where someone has told the child that the distinctive puppy is no good, for example saying things like: German Shepherd puppies shouldn’t be white – most people would of killed him, or: Hide the party colored puppy when people come to see the puppies because poodles shouldn’t be spotted, or: You might like that puppy but he really doesn’t have good shoulders.
It is odd isn’t it? How dog shows go for whole BREEDS that are from the odd dog, but then strive for conformity within that breed and leave any diverse puppy within a breed totally out of the show.