photographing waterfowl

“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have to at least consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.”  Douglas Adams

 

 

Sometimes, we see our local waterfowl–ducks, geese, and their close kin–so often that they become commonplace for us, and nigh on expendable.  In fact, the drainage ponds near my home are much of the year overrun by mallards, Muscovies, and Canada geese.  It’s very easy to forget that these are but a small sampling of the species native to this area.  Most of them, unfortunately, have been driven out of their normal territory by over-development.

Most of the birds pictured here were injured in their encounters with civilization and sent here for rehabilitation.  Some will never be able to be released.  Despite this they seem to be thriving, and getting them to hold still even for a handful of seconds as I took these shots was something of a struggle.  No matter how quietly I approached or how still I stood allowing them to come close, nine times out of ten they scurried behind a bush or dove into the water just as I went to take the shot.  And no matter what I tried, the coots (one of the smallest species here) still just showed up as small black blurs with orange dots for bills…

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