WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE
Rainbow Hues of the Wood duck
In my opinion, wood ducks are the most striking of all the ducks. As is common among the bird species, the males are brightly colored and stand out, while the females are muted and blend in with their surroundings. They both are beautiful in their own way, but the rainbow hues and intricate feather patterns of the male really pops.
I was super excited when I found a reliable place to photograph wood ducks when I lived in Colorado. I found the area near Pueblo by doing research through different birding programs prior to making the more than two hour drive (one way) to confirm. My research paid off, but given the investment in time and gas money to make the trip, I only visited the area twice. This picture was from my first trip and is still one of my favorites as the rainbow colors on the head were highlighted by the perfect angle of the sun.
Once we moved to Helena, Montana I quickly discovered two new places to photograph wood ducks, and to my delight, they were less than ten miles from my house. The one area has open water year round and the second spot has wood ducks nesting every spring. Did you know that wood ducks do not mate for life like some of our bird species. They do create seasonal bonds and this happens in the winter. If your out early in the morning, before the rooster crows, looking for wood ducks, be sure to look up they may be roosting in the trees.
Caption 1 & 2: Male and female woods will pair up in the winter and mate in early Spring. They do not mate for life but form seasonal bonds each year. Wood ducks are known for roosting and nesting in trees.
Caption 3: Merely hours old a wood duck baby will leave the nest and begin foraging for food all while mom stands guard nearby. Wood duck babies are about the size of a walnut at birth and grow quickly to full adult size in about thirty days.
I am looking forward to capturing many special pictures of these beautiful ducks. If wood ducks are your favorite be sure to check back to see my latest photos.
Lea Frye - Wildlife Photographer
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