Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mallard Family

As spring progresses new life is bursting forth and a wetland is just the ticket to a ringside seat where one can observe, photograph, and thoroughly enjoy this wonderful time of year.

Quietly hidden away along the shore I waited in hopes of photographing passing waterfowl.  After observing adult Canada geese, adult wood ducks at a distance and young hooded mergansers feeding along the brush choked shoreline I suddenly noticed ripples on the water coming from my right.  A moment later the mallard hen and her ducklings swam into view about thirty feet away.  Knowing that the click of the shutter would draw her attention I waited for a good composition before pressing the shutter button.

Instantly she was aware of my presence and began gathering her brood.

And quickly led them away to the safety as the entire family disappeared into the partially submerged willows.

As I have noted before these ducks are totally wild and will flee at the slightest hint of danger.  Only fifteen seconds elapsed between the first image that caught her unaware and the last where they are approaching cover as they flee from the perceived danger.   

Mallards are just as wild as they need to be to survive.  In parks they think nothing of waddling around looking for handouts but here where hunting and predators thin their ranks they are as wary as any other waterfowl, even as wary as the elusive Wood Duck. 

8 comments:

Robert Disney said...

Nice images, getting good compositions of those Mallard families can take time.

missing moments said...

She has good reason to flee. Too many predators surround her. Great shots!

Elaine said...

Lovely series! You timed it just right on that first one--it's gorgeous!

Chris said...

Beautiful low angle images Coy and very nice colors on the lake!! Well done!

Lois Evensen said...

What a sweet family. Love this series.

Montanagirl said...

Terrific series of photos. Love that first one! She has quite a brood following her!

Arija said...

Ten little ducks went out to play . . . I wonder how many she will manage to raise.

Meggie said...

That is quite a large brood. Let's hope most of them evade predators.