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A Feast Of Color

For a month or two in late summer or early autumn, male ducks are in eclipse. Eclipse is a drab, female-like plumage that helps camouflage the drakes at a vulnerable time (while they're molting their flight feathers.) It's sort of a dull time for nature photographers. It's the reason why I've never posted a single picture of the handsome Blue-Winged Teal: the period of their eclipse overlaps almost perfectly with their fall migration through Ottawa, which is usually the only time I see them.

But for our local Wood Ducks, at least, eclipse is now over, and every feather of the newly-grown breeding plumage is fresh and vivid. There is no better time for appreciating the splendor of the drake Wood Duck.

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Yes dear, I think I share the sentiment.

Actually that was the beginning of an interesting bit of interaction, which I captured in five shots in quick succession. At the time I interpreted it as an aggressive encounter, but after studying the photos I don't think so. It looks more like...well, see for yourself!

Excuse my anthropomorphizing, but did that duck or did she not say "kiss me, you handsome devil", and then play hard to get?

Summer Insects RoundupLittle Devil Diver


October 7th, 2013 at 7:55 am
Nice shots... and yes, it does look as though there is a bit of flirting going on there!

Mustang Sallie
October 7th, 2013 at 10:27 pm
He is a handsome dude, for sure! Wonderful colors- great shots. I love that your photos often tell a mini-story.