Okay, I'm still a rookie but I'm trying to learn what time of year most ducks have their breeding/alternate plumage and when they have their eclipse/non-breeding plumage, so that I can hopefully get photos of the male ducks in their "Sunday Best" before they go back up North (if they don't breed in So. California, where I live)
I have concluded, by viewing various photos (the ones that have dates on them) on the internet of Cinnamon, BW, and GW Teals, American Wigeons, No. Pintails, and No. Shovelers, that most ducks only have eclipse or non-breeding plumage a few mos. out of the year (July, August, and September).
Most of the photos from October, Nov, Dec, Jan, and Feb, show males in full breeding plumage. I previously thought they only had breeding plumage during breeding season (Spring/Summer) like a lot of other birds that change plumage.
To sum up, it looks like I will be able to get photos of these species in their full breeding plumage within a couple of months from now.
Can any of you offer your opinion about this? Does my conclusion sound about right?