It is Getting Duckier at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

A Ruddy Duck drake at Bear River Migratory Bird RefugeA Ruddy Duck drake at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge – Nikon D810, f9, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed that Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is getting duckier. I am seeing more ducks in the water and flying over head now than I had in July.  Yesterday I was pleased to find this Ruddy Duck drake that has a bit of blue on his bill.

A Gadwall hen and ducklingsA Gadwall hen and ducklings – Nikon D810, f9, 1/1600, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

And some of the ducks still have ducklings trailing behind them like the Gadwall hen. The ducklings stayed very close to here out on the open water.

A slightly odd looking RedheadA slightly odd looking Redhead drake – Nikon D810, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

I also saw this Redhead drake. Or is it? At first glance I my brain said “Redhead” but its head seemed paler than it should be, the bill is darker than I would expect and where did that ring around its neck come from? Is this what a juvenile drake Redhead looks like as it transitions into breeding plumage or is this individual just paler than normal? I don’t really know. I’m going to try to sort it out but would appreciate help with this duck. This is a male Redhead going into breeding plumage, I guess typically I don’t see them this time of the season because I am usually camping further north and it doesn’t take long for this species to go into breeding plumage. Thanks for the help Mark and Stephanie.

Life is just ducky!

Mia

5 Comments

  1. Elephant's Child August 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    Ducks are always beautiful. So very varied – and so instantly recognisable.

  2. Mia McPherson August 18, 2015 at 9:53 am

    This is a male Redhead going into breeding plumage, I guess typically I don’t see them this time of the season because I am usually camping further north and it doesn’t take long for this species to go into breeding plumage.

  3. Liz Cormack August 18, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Could the redhead be a redhead-x-mallard cross? Regardless, beautiful photos, Mia.

  4. Patty Chadwick August 18, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Ducks make me laugh. A lot of them sound lie they’re laughing, too. They always look like they’re smiling and they look so funny when they walk or run…

  5. Bob Mcpherson August 18, 2015 at 5:31 am

    Beautiful shots Mia, love the ducks

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