Monday, October 18, 2010

American Black Duck

As a novice birdwatcher, it is easy to overlook the most common birds around us all of the time. I guess I am guilty of that. I have taken many pictures of Black Ducks but for some reason, never posted them. The Black Duck is a great bird to practice photography on because they are so ever present in all of the inner city ponds. I really like this shot because of the great light bouncing off the tail feathers. This is likely a hybrid with a Mallard, given the touch of green showing on the head.
The Black Ducks in the ponds have almost become domesticated because so many people in the city feed them. They are quite playful and will entertain even the casual onlookers. This one decided to sing me a song.

It is a very common sight to see the Black Ducks flying about and landing with a flare and a swish very close to shore. They also dip their head under water and let it roll off its back. I guess that is where the saying comes from: "Like water off a duck's back."

 I came across this duck with her ducklings in a more isolated pond. She certainly seems to be on guard to protect her little ones. I have never seen the head feathers like this before.
 During the spring, there were baby ducklings everywhere. If they all made it, there will be many Black Ducks in the years ahead. There are even some road signs here indicating "Duck Crossing."
It is easy to forget that the Black Duck is a wild, game bird because we see them all of the time. They seem to be pretty smart thought because when hunting season starts, they move into city ponds where there is no shooting allowed. Good for them.

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