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Photo: Ruddy duck is blue and ready to woo

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My, what a blue bill you have...

It happens to the best of us. After a winter of big coats and muted clothes, spring arrives along with, you know, the birds and the bees, and suddenly we shake off our frumpy attire and we're all bright and perky. It's not much different in the rest of the animal world – as is so readily evident in this photo of a lovely ruddy duck male, taken by photographer Gary Ellwein. While in winter they are a dull grayish brown with drab gray bills ... come breeding season and suddenly the ruddy males are sporting rich chestnut feathers and a remarkable blue bill. What she-duck could say no to that?

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