Friday, January 20, 2017
It's been feeling more like March or April than January. Rain, melting snow, dirty snow, puddles. I was in search of something beautiful to photograph that would cheer the dreary days.
I spied a large raft of mallards out on the bay and knew I'd found my subjects. While these ducks are very commonplace, they are lovely and I love to watch their antics.
This couple seemed to be enjoying the day as they bobbed together on the choppy bay.
While the male is often thought to be the more colorful of the pair, this female, with her back feathers in variegated shades of tan and brown, is good-looking in her own right.
Here she is in the midst of dabbling along the water; she cruises along tipping her head forward to eat seeds and other aquatic vegetation.
Occasionally, a mallard will go bottoms up to reach for food a bit deeper, but skimming is the mallards' preferred method of feeding.
Besides feeding, the ducks performed their second most common task, preening. With over 25,000 feathers, preening is the way mallards, and other birds too, remove dust, dirt, and parasites from their feathers to keep them in optimum condition.
But the part that is most fun to watch and photograph, however, is when the male mallard begins to display for his nearby mate.
Rising up out of the water, it's easier to see the male mallard's beautiful green cap and blue on his feathers. So glad to have had these beautiful moments with these gorgeous critters.