Sunday, April 05, 2009

Getting Closer: Wood Duck

When trying to capture good portraits of wildlife nothing can take the place of getting close. Wood Ducks have been particularly challenging for me as our woodies know all too well that humans mean trouble.

Visiting the wetland Saturday morning I concealed myself reasonably well by wearing camo and hiding in the surrounding vegetation. After a wait of over an hour a pair of wood ducks swam rapidly across the small opening while a cloud passed across the sun. Disappointed but not discouraged I continued my wait and was soon rewarded when this lone drake swam into the open less than twenty yards away providing me with my best wood duck portrait to date.


I had only time to fire a few frames until he noticed something was amiss and lifted his crest in alarm. Moments later he was airborne, the entire encounter only lasted a few seconds but that was all it took to captured a couple of memorable images.

Note: Betsy in Tennessee was kind enough to direct me to her recent Northern Flicker post in a comment on my Camera Critters post. What I assumed to be a courtship display apparently was a mating dispute between two males. There were other flickers in the area perhaps the female was among them but upon leaving this perch both of the “boys” flew off together. Go figure :)






22 comments:

Shellmo said...

Gorgeous shots of this Wood Duck! I would be over the moon to see one of these!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Beautiful pictures.These guys are sooo lovely,too bad they don't like to pose for you.
Blessings,Ruth

Happy Days said...

Wood Ducks have always been one of my favorite ducks. Their coloring is so rich and bright. This is a really super photo. I have a large print of a Wood Duck by Don Whitlatch but it's not as pretty as your photograph. Thanks for sharing...debbie

Kallen305 said...

Love the Wood Duck photos. They are my new nemesis bird this season so I can totally appreciate your frustration.

You did an excellent job getting one though!

Louise said...

Definitely worth the wait. What a perfect capture. And that you got something that awesome in just a few seconds is just incredible.

Ivar Ivrig said...

He he, this irritates me as well. Birds should learn that a man with a camera is a friend, and a man with a gun is a foe :-)

Beautiful anyway.

Bird Girl said...

What patience you have - and as you say - these wood ducks know humans are trouble. He is a sight to see in all his glory - great job!

Chris said...

The first shot is amazing, very nice composition, nice bokeh and surrounding.. Perfect I love it.

DeeMom said...

great photos

Montanagirl said...

Those are great shots of the Wood Duck. They are so colorful and flashy. Nice capture!

imac said...

Ah, Ducks made of wood?
Hehe, only joking Salty, great captures there with playing Hide n Seek.

Kahshe Cottager said...

Wood ducks are such pretty birds - especially the male I think. I have only ever seen one from a distance .. lucky you to capture the photo. The Buffleheads will not come anywhere near me when I have a camera and I so want to get a photo of them!

photowannabe said...

Your first shot looks like it belongs in a wild-life calendar. Terrific shot. A bonus for your great patience.

The Early Birder said...

Coy, thats the best portrait I've ever seen. Exceptionally well captured.

Chad Oneil Myers said...

Nice, sharp images of this elusive little creature...

Good composition too.

Willard said...

Definitely first class shots!

Leedra said...

The Wood Duck is such a handsome fellow, so well captured by you.

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fishing guy said...

Salty: I love that Wood Duck, I saw one on Saturday but didn't pay enough attention. I only got a head shot by accident.

Ranger said...

Great shots of the woodies. They are hard to get. GOOD JOB

Meggie said...

For the longest time, as a child, I never thought the wood duck was a REAL duck. Nothing could be that brilliantly colored. Then when I found out otherwise, I still never had the opportunity to view one in person. How regal they are! Great shots, Salty!

Misty Dawn said...

The Wood Duck's colors are so vibrant and beautiful... they really are a piece of art ;-)

Judy said...

Wonderful shots! Wood ducks are so bright, even I can identify them! I especially like the secind shot, where the blue sky is reflected in the disturbed water around him!