This Mallard drake stood on a rock, quacking occasionally, soaking up the rays. There was nothing special about it. Mallards can be seen in the North Basin (the estuary east of the park) and on land in the park year round. But this bird looked so glorious in all its colors, with its speculum bared, that I just had to take the photo.
The Mallard seems a peaceful duck but it is quite a controversial bird due to its ability to mate and make fertile offspring with other species of ducks. It’s a genetic expansionist and liquidator of other species. Read more about Mallards in Wikipedia Cornell Audubon