[Three Hundred Animals Contents]
IS also divided into wild and tame one, the latter being but the same species altered by domestication; the difference between both is very trifling, save that the colour of the Mallard, or wild Duck, is constantly the same in all the individuals, whereas the tame ones, or Drakes, are varied in their plumage. The females submit respectively to that general rule of nature, who ordered that they should not share with the males the beauty of feathers: and the admirable scarf of glossy green and blue which surround the neck of the Drakes and Mallards, is an exclusive prerogative of the male sex. There is also a curious and invariable peculiarity which belongs to the males, which consists of a few curled feathers rising upon the rump. The wild Ducks are caught by decoys in the fen countries, and supply our markets most plentifully. The tame ones, reared about mills and rivers, or wherever there is a sufficient quantity of water for them to indulge their sports and searches for food, become a branch of trade which proves very profitable to their owners.