Mallard drake flying in to land – Nikon D500, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I overslept this morning so I am going to keep this post short. I swear I set the alarm on my phone last night but I may have mistakenly turned it off instead of on.
When I was at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge a few days ago I saw lots of ducks in the marshes and on the water and I realized that I am looking forward to photographing winter ducks again. I see ducks all year long but in the winter there are times I can get dressed, grab my coffee and just head down to my local ponds to photograph Mallards, Common Goldeneyes, Common Mergansers, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, American Wigeons, Gadwalls, Canvasbacks, Lesser Scaups, Hooded Mergansers, Red-breasted Mergansers, Green-winged Teals, and Northern Shovelers without having to drive very far at all.
I can also photograph Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, Snow Geese and if I am lucky a swan will also fly in.
I am getting excited and I’m looking forward to photographing the winter ducks that I see close to home.
I took this Mallard photo late in the afternoon on Halloween this year at my local pond as it flew in for a landing.
Life is good.
Mallard facts and information:
- Mallards are large, dabbling ducks with rounded, large bodies, wide bills and rounded heads. Males are more colorful than the females.
- Mallards are probably one of the most recognized ducks in the world, they are found in tropical and subtropical areas of North, South and Central America, Eurasia, Europe and North Africa. They have been introduced to other countries in the world which has caused problems with native ducks hybridizing with mallards.
- Mallard habitat includes, lakes, ponds, marshes, bogs, rivers, streams, reservoirs, city parks, estuaries, potholes, ditches and agricultural areas.
- Mallards eat seeds, aquatic vegetation, grains, earthworms, snails, insects, insect larvae and freshwater crustaceans like shrimp. They will also eat bread but it is bad for them and causes health issues.
- Mallards lay 5 to 14 eggs which hatch in 26 to 30 days. The female incubates.
- A group of mallards can be called a “doppling”, “daggle”, “lute” or “sword” of mallards.
- Mallards can live up to 29 years.
- Only female Mallards “quack”, males make a different, lower sound.