Redhead Ducks in Salt Lake County

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A Redhead drake in Salt Lake CountyA Redhead drake in Salt Lake County – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 285mm, natural light, not baited

Last February; when there was actually snow on the ground, I photographed a pair of Redhead ducks at a pond near where I live. The drake kept a close eye on the hen and was rarely more than 20 feet from her but most of the time he was within just a few feet.

They hung around close to the shore of the pond where they probably were expecting handouts from the folks that bring bread there to feed the birds. I wish the city would put up signs explaining how bread is bad for the ducks. They sure didn’t get any bread from me.

Diving Redhead henDiving Redhead hen – Nikon D300, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 640, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 328mm, natural light, not baited

This image just makes me smile. It shows well why Redheads are called “diving ducks” and I like how I caught the hen just before she went under the water.

Redhead hens build the nests, incubate and brood the young and some female Redheads parasitize other duck nests but occasionally they will lay eggs in American Coot, Sora, American Bittern and even Northern Harrier nests. I wouldn’t think that Redhead ducklings would last long in a harrier nest.

I wonder if this pair of Redheads will come back to the same pond in Salt Lake County this year.

Life is good.

Mia

4 Comments

  1. Utahbooklover February 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Great images Mia, and thanks for the reminder about not feeding them bread; maybe if it were whole wheat or multigrain but it’s always the white junk. Another day in the 50s and the only snow is in the nearby mountains.

  2. Chris Rohrer February 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    This is one beautiful duck. Lovely captures!

  3. Elephant's Child February 4, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Stunning. I hope that she (and her family) do come back this year.

  4. Patty Chadwick February 4, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Great catch…looks like she’s about to go straight down…split second later would have been too late to catch her!

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