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A question about Ducks

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:26 pm
by bearbutt
A friend recently sent me a bunch of bronze mallard he shot this winter, so I've been spending time lately sorting out duck feathers--organizing my entire archive of ducks--pulling fluff, separating the rights from the lefts from the centers, and sizing them, and so on. I found deep in my stash a bag of flank feathers I can't pin down--a pinkish hue--most barring on the right or left, not center--and I have no idea what duck this is. Any have any idea? I know it's not cinnamon teal--too light for that. Suggestions?

Thanks,
bb

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Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 12:37 pm
by gt05254
Looks a lot like some hooded merganser I have.
Gary

Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:16 pm
by bearbutt
Gary, thanks for your quick reply--that would make sense. What patterns do you use yours for? Anyone else use merganser?

bb

Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 1:47 pm
by gt05254
bb, mine go into salmon flies in place, usually, of wood duck. Just sort of a "change up" kind of a thing. I'm sure the salmon don't care, but to my eye, it can make some flies look much "richer". Also, I have seen it go for some incredible prices on ebay. Glad to have hunting friends that don't mind knocking down a drake for me occasionally.
Gary

Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:23 pm
by redietz
I've used some for flat wing flies like the Wood Special. i'm now thinking that it might be a good choice instead of wood duck on a Wood Duck Heron.

Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 2:59 pm
by bearbutt
Thanks, guys. A hunter friend who just sent me some mallard suggested it might be wigeon, not hooded merganser. Here's a wigeon he has on his desk:


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I like the pinkish tint a lot--Dana and I have often talked about how effective Darbee dun is when it has the tinge of pink in it--so I am tempted to try these flanks as wingsets on some Quill Gordons and related dries.

I also like the idea of using them on Herons--which is a great pattern.

bb

Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:34 pm
by gt05254
If they are big feathers, they likely are widgeon. Small....I'd still say hooded merg. Just checked my stash of both species. By and large, even tho the individual merg feathers are smaller, they have heavier barring than the widgeon. I bet those are widgeon, as you suggest, bb.

LOL, and if that widgeon was anywhere near my house, he'd be sporting a pretty sparse coat!
Gary

Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:06 am
by catskilljohn
The color looks close for merganser, but the barring does not.
Merganser has a heavier barring, on all the feathers I have at least.
Those look really pretty though, I’m sure you’ll find a use! CJ

Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:54 pm
by bearbutt
Thanks, Gary and John for your thoughts--do either of you have some hooded merganser flanks you could post so I could get a good look at the barring?

I've been spending the weekend getting my ducks in a row, lol. Most arrive from my hunter friends in baggies, or if they send a skin it hasn't been dressed so that every little last bit of fat is gone. Everything can go bad fast if you're not careful. What I often do is go through the flanks and sort them out and pull the fluff--and then organize them on heavy watercolor paper folders--rights and lefts, and centers, and smaller ones for cheeks v larger ones for wrapping and wingsets--then pinch the rachis slightly with my fingernail to relax the tension--then tape them down. They are easy to access and store this way. I get anywhere from 30-100 feathers in a folder.

I still have a lot more to go through, but this is how it all looks.

bb

The folder


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The ducks (Woodies, Widgeon, and Teal)

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Re: A question about Ducks

Posted: Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:44 pm
by gt05254
bb - here ya go:

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And I covet my neighbor's large teal!!!! Lucky boy! Perfect for featherwing salmon flies that use it.

Gary