First, all three birds show a little white in the tail feathers. If they were completely mallard, the tail feathers would be all white, and if they were completely mottled, the tail feathers would be brown like the rest of the body.
On the left and right, we have two male birds. Notice that there is a little curl in the central tail feathers, which is a mallard characteristic. On the one on the left, notice the black spot at the base of the bill, which is a mottled duck characteristic.
In the center, is a female bird. Notice the partial black saddle on the bill, which is a mallard trait, but also notice the back spot at base of bill, which is a mottled duck characteristic.
As always it was a great count. We still have one count to do, the South Brevard CBC on January 3. I am the compiler for that one, so contact me directly if you want to come out and join us. That count covers the St. Sebastian Preserve State Park, it will be a blast. Remember, you can try to count the birds on this web site, but where's the challenge in that? You need to GOYB and join us to really experience a bird count!