Substantial carbonate deposits were observed on rectrices of Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis) collected during 1982-1984 on evaporation ponds in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Carbonate deposits were composed of about 75% aragonite and 25% calcite, both polymorphous forms of CaCO3. Significantly more carbonate deposits were observed on Ruddy Ducks as length of exposure to agricultural drain water increased, during the 1983-1984 field season when salt concentrations in the ponds were higher, and in certain evaporation-pond systems.
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Carbonate deposition on tail feathers of ruddy ducks using evaporation ponds