Frisky Tufties, nasal saddles and schemochromes

There are Tufted Ducks at Stover Country Park. They are a little wary but I manage to get a few photographs:

Tufted Duck at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I’ve always though that their heads were purple, but with iridescence the colour isn’t caused by pigment, it’s caused by the microscopic structure of the feathers interfering with light. The structures are called schemochromes. It looks as cool as it sounds:

Tufted Duck at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

At this angle the head looks green.

There’s a female here as well.

Tufted Duck at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I look closely and see that it has a nasal ‘saddle’. It’s there because of a scientific study and because you can’t read leg rings when ducks have them in the water so much of the time.

Tufted Duck at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Taking a closer look at it, I want to find the scientist who did this and put a large nasal saddle on them.

Tufted Duck at Stover - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

I just hope the results are worth it.

What do you think?

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