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Duck

Ducks take to the trees

Ducks take to the trees. It isn’t too often you see a duck hanging out in the tree but here you go. Wood Ducks are a bit different from most waterfowl is that they do actually perch and nest in trees. While I have photographed them before, it has always been in a more traditional setting like swimming on a pond.

On Sunday while hanging out along the South Platte River I noticed a number of these guys flying around and landing in the trees. It certainly seemed out of place. The terrain prevented me from getting a better look but I managed a few, distant captures.

These images don’t do a good job showing it but Wood Ducks, particularly the drakes (males), truly are some of the most colorful ducks you can imagine.

A pair of Wood Ducks hang out in the trees along the South Platte River.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A pair of Wood Ducks hang out in the trees along the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck drake hangs out in the trees along the South Platte River.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck drake hangs out in the trees along the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

A pair of Wood Ducks hang out in the trees along the South Platte River.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A pair of Wood Ducks hang out in the trees along the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

A pair of Wood Ducks and a Starling hang out in the trees along the South Platte River.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A pair of Wood Ducks and a Starling hang out in the trees along the South Platte River. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wood Ducks wow

Water fowl rarely draw the attention of my camera but the one exception that will always have me clicking are Wood Ducks. Their iridescent, colorful plumage is simply too beautiful to ignore. These images are a sampling of those I took while watching them at Sterne Park in Littleton, Colorado a few weeks ago. The males, pictured here, draw most of the attention although females are pretty in their own right.

You can read more about these cool ducks here.

A Wood Duck druck looks resplendent in all its colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck druck looks resplendent in all its colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck druck looks resplendent in all its colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck druck looks resplendent in all its colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck druck looks resplendent in all its colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck druck looks resplendent in all its colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck druck looks resplendent in all its colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck druck looks resplendent in all its colors. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wood Duck smiles for its portrait

I am not one to normally seek out ducks for pictures but when these colorful creatures come to town, I do my best to pay them a visit. Wood Ducks visit a park south of Denver each fall for a few weeks and yesterday I had the opportunity.

They are extraordinarily beautiful and one of the most colorful waterfowl, especially the male pictured here. Females’ coloring is quite a bit more subdued but still beautiful in their own right. Wood Ducks are one of the few waterfowl that actually are comfortable nesting and perching in trees.

A Wood Duck drake seems to smile as its picture is taken.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck drake seems to smile as its picture is taken. (© Tony’s Takes)

Female Wood Duck reflections

There is a little park in a suburb of Denver where Wood ?Ducks? are known to frequent. I took a quick trip down there yesterday afternoon and unfortunately there weren’t many to be found – in fact only this one.

While she was quite beautiful, I really was hoping to get some images of the males as they are amazing and it has been a year since I have captured images of any. Nevertheless, as always, it was great just to get out and take some pics.

A female Wood Duck swims in a pond in suburban Denver. (© Tony’s Takes)

A female Wood Duck swims in a pond in suburban Denver. (© Tony’s Takes)

Elk calf really wants to play with a duck

This was a lot of fun to watch. This calf was wading in a pond when a duck arrived to go for a swim. The little guy (or gal) was quite fascinated by the feathered creature and waded in further to try to get a sniff. The duck however didn’t care too much for the large, furry mammal and swam off leaving the calf without a friend.

Taken in Horseshoe Park in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. ?

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

A young Elk wants to make friends with a duck as it swims by. (© Tony’s Takes)

Young Mallards go out for a morning swim

This is half of a brood of juvenile Mallard Ducks that was swimming across a pond this past weekend. While not ducklings anymore, they are still pretty darned cute and the one raising its head seemed to be showing off for the camera.

Juvenile Mallard Ducks enjoy a swim on a pond in Boulder County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Juvenile Mallard Ducks enjoy a swim on a pond in Boulder County, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mallards pay a surprise visit

Well, this was a bit of a surprise. I have a basic backyard bird feeder with safflower feed. To date haven’t seen much beyond house finches and doves.

Last week, after I left for work, my kids said there were two ducks in the yard. Yesterday, the pair stopped by briefly in the rain but I didn’t have time to grab my camera. Tonight, they came again and hung out for 15 minutes or so and I was able to sit out on the porch and take some pics.

They ate some of the seed that had fallen into the grass, waddled around, and then took off. It was already pretty dark thanks to the clouds and evening sun (or lack thereof) so the pics aren’t all that great. No water to speak of near me in suburbia so I’m not sure why they have chosen my backyard. Guess they just like the seed. 😉 Lots of fun to watch although my dogs weren’t too happy with the guests.

A Mallard drake and hen hang out in the grass of a suburban yard. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mallard drake and hen hang out in the grass of a suburban yard. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mallard hen poses for pictures.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mallard hen poses for pictures. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mallard drake walking through the grass.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Mallard drake walking through the grass. (© Tony’s Takes)

Northern Shoveler Duck flashes his pants

The mood at the pond really went downhill this afternoon when Fred the Flasher arrived. 😉

Male Northern Shoveler ?ducks? at a pond in Thornton, Colorado, USA.?

Male Northern Shovelers at a pond in Thornton, Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Male Northern Shovelers at a pond in Thornton, Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wood Duck drake shakes the water off

Wood Ducks are probably the coolest looking water fowl I have ever seen. The male, seen here, is so colorful it is hard to imagine. Females, while more subdued, are beautiful in their own right. This male had just dives under water in search of a snack and when he popped up, began vigorously flapping his wings to dry off.

A Wood Duck drake flaps its wings to dry off after diving into a pond. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Wood Duck drake flaps its wings to dry off after diving into a pond. (© Tony’s Takes)

Mallard drake gets his close up

With as common as Mallard ducks are, I don’t normally train my lens on them but sometimes I can’t resist. The lighting was soft and pleasant on this day and the partly cloudy skies made the water look like silver. Throw in this fine looking drake with his brilliant green head and it made for a nice picture. I am always amazed at how fine and detailed feathers on ducks are and this image really shows them off.

A Mallard Duck drake looks resplendent in emerald green.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Mallard Duck drake looks resplendent in emerald green. (© Tony’s Takes)