Looks like someone is putting on a show.
Mating season means showing off and this Male Hooded Merganser is doing a fine job of letting the other males on the pond know he’s got what it takes to win the ladies over. Denver, CO.
Make no bones about it, I get excited watching the less common waterfowl that overwinter on the local creeks and ponds, but there is just something special about the Mallard. Maybe a comforting familiarity or perhaps their mild demeanor and wonderful quacking. Anyway, this guy sure stood out the other day. Well dressed in his finest breeding feathers saying what needed to be said in such a simple way.
Every winter there seems to be a single wood duck couple inhabiting the stretch of the south platte river we visit to photograph the waterfowl that overwinter in the area. This years is no exception.
A family of coots in the foreground and a lone pie-billed grebe chick enjoying a late afternoon shower.
A nice telephoto lens can be a great learning tool and this shot is a good example. You think you are being sneaky, hidden behind the shrubs on the rivers edge, watching this pair of Northern Shovelers feeding. Then you peer through your lens and lo and behold they are looking right back at you. Still feeding, relaxed, yet aware of your presence. Ecological awareness on display.
Two male goldeneyes working hard to impress a female in the late afternoon light. These guys will likely only be around here a few more weeks. As spring arrives most of the waterfowl leave my area. Their yearly coming and going gives rhythm to life. Have a great trip north and someday I hope to join you.