Pair of Mallards Mating in February

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Mallards mating in FebruaryMallards mating in February – Nikon D500, f11, 1/400, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

A few days ago there were areas of blue sky in the afternoon with some decent light and since I hadn’t gone out to photograph in the morning due to clouds I felt I had to get out and take some photos of birds while there was light.

I’ve been feeling cooped up a lot lately and since the local pond is just a few minutes away it makes sense to head down to it when there is good light because you just never know what you might find there. I keep looking for the Canada x Snow Goose hybrid but I haven’t seen it in some time but there are at least two Double-crested Cormorants that seem to be overwintering here because I have seen them from a distance rather frequently.

Right now the most common birds I see at the pond are coots, ducks, gulls and geese. The most common ducks there are mallards and since they are used to humans walking around the pond or sitting on the shoreline fishing they aren’t very skittish at all.

Mallards form pairs in the fall and courtship can be seen during the winter and seeing them mating in February isn’t all that unusual.  So the other day when I saw a pair of mallards bobbing their heads around in unison I got ready to take photos of them mating and they gave me some great views of the action. These mallards won’t actually nest for several more weeks and once the eggs are laid the hen will do all the work of incubation and rearing the ducklings.

Maybe I will get a break in the clouds today and be able to head down to the pond. I won’t hold my breath though.

Life is good.


2017-02-08T06:54:57+00:00February 8th, 2017|Categories: Birds, Mallards, Salt Lake County, Utah|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |4 Comments


  1. Wally Jones February 8, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Terrific photograph! It’s getting tougher here in central Florida to find “wild” Mallards and I’m afraid the Mottled Duck may soon cease to exist because of mallard hybridization.

    Hope the coming Spring provides you with ever-increasing photo opportunities!

  2. Patty Chadwick February 8, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Thank you…and thanks for the relatively “civilized” mating Mallards scene…none of their usual viloence!!!

  3. Mary McAvoy February 8, 2017 at 8:20 am

    I love these birds – great photo! I used to live near a pond and there were ways a pair present. I loved their devotion to one another. But the male is in abstentia for weeks once the chucks hatch. It seemed he’d competely left the pond. I think he’d fly in for a quick visit on occasion. Do you know where he goes? Does he just hang out alone elsewhere or hang w a group of males at another pond?

  4. Mia McPherson February 8, 2017 at 6:25 am

    P.S., it is Patty’s birthday today 🙂 Happy Birthday Patty!

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