Drake Redhead flapping his wings after preening – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2500, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Yesterday afternoon I noticed this drake Redhead preening as soon as I got to my local pond and before the engine of the vehicle had even stopped running I tried to focus on him because I hoped he would rise up and give me a good wing flap which is precisely what he did a few seconds later. The Redhead was close enough to get nice details in his plumage but far enough away that I didn’t have to be concerned about clipping his wings.
Redheads are medium sized diving ducks with rounded heads and although the females are mostly brown and what might be considered plain looking the males in breeding plumage have bright cinnamon colored heads, orange eyes, tricolored bills, dark to black breasts and tails and with gray bodies. Redheads eat submerged aquatic plants, algae, tubers, rhizomes, small fish and invertebrates.
I’ve been seeing Redheads at my local pond over the winter but most of the time they have stayed on the other side of the pond so having this one up a bit closer and flapping his wings was a delight. As soon as the bird settled back onto the water he paddled away and I lost sight of him.
Life is good.