The resplendent Harlequin
was developed by Leslie Bonnet of Wales from a color mutation that
showed up in his Khaki Campbells in 1949. Our original stock
was out of birds imported directly from the originator, Mr. Bonnet.
We have been diligently selecting our Harlequins since 1982 to
maintain a high degree of authenticity.
If you want a brilliantly
colored duck that lays like a Campbell, is a tremendous forager,
weighs 5 to 5 1/2 pounds, then the Harlequin is an excellent choice.
Annual egg production in our flocks has been averaging 260 to 350
white eggs per female. If allowed to set, many Harlequin
females will successfully hatch ducklings.
Two-Year-Old Silver Welsh Harlequin Drake
An excellent Harlequin drake
with the desired length of body, size (5 pounds). and coloring &
Two-Year-Old Silver Welsh
This picture was taken in
October when she was in full nuptial plumage. Dave Holderread, who
wrote the American Poultry Association Standard for the Welsh Harlequin,
says that this female has ideal color for a mature Silver Harlequin
duck. (In photos, the fawn shading in Harlequin female plumage
frequently appears paler than in real life--so keep in mind when viewing
this photograph that this bird has more fawn shading than is apparent
here.) First year Harlequin females typically have lighter colored
plumage than when they are mature. Also, females go through
several color changes through the course of a year. The Standard
color description is for the fall nuptial plumage.
A 4-year-old Golden Harlequin
female (left), A Yearling Silver Harlequin female (right). This
Silver female has ideal conformation and type. The Golden female
has become a bit less stream-lined and smooth bodied with age. The
distinct wing speculum color of the two varieties is clearly visible in
this photograph: the Goldens have bronze or greenish-bronze
speculum, the Silvers have brilliant blue speculums. Both
varieties should have blackish-green bills as shown here.
Welsh Harlequins come in two
color phases. The Harlequins originator, Leslie Bonnet of Wales,
created both varieties but we can find no evidence that he made a
distinction between the two colors. Here at The HWF & Preservation
Center we have named the two varieties, the Golden and the Silver.
The Golden was the original color that Mr. Bonnet described in his book,
Practical Duck-keeping, published in 1960. In 1968, when
Mr. Bonnet sent hatching eggs to the United States, most of the
hatchlings were of the Silver phase. We have been careful to
preserve high quality strains in both varieties.
6-Month-Old Silver Welsh Harlequin Drake Enjoying a Swim on One of Our
Silver Welsh Harlequin Ducklings
egg-tooth at the tip of the front duckling.)
A Pair of Silver Welsh Harlequin Day-Old Ducklings
Although not always as distinct as it is in this
pair, day-old Harlequin males often have darker bills (left duckling)
than the females (right duckling). The bill color difference
usually last only 2 or 3 days after hatching.
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Copyright 2009 Holderread Waterfowl Farm & Preservation Center