Surprising structural color

Mallard1I love when I download a set of shots from camera to computer and find surprises — pictures I didn’t know I had. It’s what keeps me going as I delete hundreds of bad shots.

This set of three shots is a perfect example.


Mallard2Just to practice I photographed this male mallard as he walked by me up the beach toward the sun. Mallard shots are easy to get so I wasn’t expecting anything special. To my surprise and delight, I got a stunning example of the structural color of feathers.


Mallard3There’s no true color here. It’s the structure and layout of the feathers and their reflection of light that create what looks like three different bird heads. But this is the same bird all within a minute’s stroll. No photo or color adjustments on my part.

Nature is amazing!

About Chris Parsons

Science writer/educator exploring nature and sharing via words, images, data and stories — to connect, inspire and conserve.
This entry was posted in Monterey Bay, Sandy beach and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


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