Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘ducklings’

What do you want to be when you grow up? I wonder if these ducklings were dreaming of growing to be as big as a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) when they swam toward its reflection yesterday at Huntley Meadows Park.

growing up

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

I am now home from Vienna and as I was reviewing my photos from the trip I came across this image. What could be more adorable than a baby duckling trying to imitate its mother, especially with Mother’s Day only a week away?

I took this shot last week in Vienna, Austria at the Volksgarten, where a family of Mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) had taken up residence in a fountain.

Mallard Mom and duckling

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

I was thrilled on Friday morning to spot this Wood Duck mother (Aix sponsa) with thirteen little ducklings (if I counted right) at my favorite marshland park, Huntley Meadows Park. A few days ago, one of my fellow photographers was able to capture some shots of the moment when some newly fledged wood duck babies were called out of the nesting box by their mother and dropped into the water below. I suspect this is the same family, although I have been told that there are plenty of eggs in some of the other nesting boxes, so there may a lot more baby ducks soon.

I hope that all of the cute little ducklings can remain safe, but I remember with a tinge of sadness the experience of past years when I watched the number of babies decrease over time. The environment is hostile for these vulnerable little ones, with water snakes and snapping turtles as well as hawks and other birds of prey.  It has to be tough on the mother duck to try to keep them together and out of danger and it seems like she has to raise them on her own—the father duck does not seem to participate in the process.

Wood Duck babies

Wood Duck babies

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

Make way for ducklings! Yesterday I finally saw my first Mallard baby ducks of the season at Huntley Meadows Park. I have spotted Canada Geese goslings multiple times this month and they are already growing quite large.

Mallard ducklings

The ducklings look so small and fragile and the Mallard Mom (Anas platyrhynchos) seemed to be doing her best to keep them tightly bunched together as they made their way slowly through the shallow waters of the marsh. When they paused for a moment, though, some of the ducklings wanted to explore their surroundings. When I zoomed in for a close-up shot of the babies, one of them wandered out of the frame, leaving only four to be featured.

This Mom is going to be really busy raising and protecting these little ones.

Mallard ducklings

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Several weeks after I first spotted a family of Hooded Merganser ducks (Lophodytes cucullatus) at my local marsh, I continue run into this single mother and her adorable ducklings. (Click here to see the original posting.)

The ducks seem to hang out a lot in one flooded, shady area of the marsh that is relatively shallow and doesn’t seem to have the snapping turtles that plagued similar families last year. The light is limited and the ducks start moving as soon as they sense my presence, so getting photos has been a challenge. Here’s a selection of some of my favorite shots to date of this cute little family.

mama_swamp4_blog

Mama duck gives a reminder to the ducklings to stay together and follow her.

mama_swamp3_blog

Trying to move out, but some of the ducklings want to look back toward me.

Mama duck takes up a rear position to ensure there are no stragglers.

Mama duck takes up a rear position to ensure there are no stragglers.

Grainy close-up shot that shows some of the personality of the ducklings.

Grainy close-up shot that shows some of the personality of the ducklings.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

Read Full Post »

As I was walking through the Volksgarten in Vienna, I was a bit surprised to encounter three ducklings, living in a fountain along with two male adult Mallards. The city had constructed a ramp so that the ducks could enter and exit the fountain and a couple of plywood platforms, where the ducklings would rest and play.

Obviously there was a mother duck involved in giving birth to these ducklings, which were no longer babies, but I did not see her at all during any of my three visits to see the ducks.

Although I had only a point-and-shoot camera with a small zoom lens, the fountain limited the movement of the ducklings and I was able to move in close for some pretty good shots, which show the personality of the little ducklings.

Vienna_duck4_blogVienna_duck5_blog

Vienna_duck6_blog

 

Vienna_duck1_blog

Vienna_duck3_blogVienna_duck2_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Female Hooded Merganser ducks (Lophodytes cucullatus) raise their ducklings as single Moms, which must be pretty tough when you have so many offspring to look after. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the male Hooded Merganser duck abandons his mate once she begins incubating eggs and it’s not known if they reunite the following season.

Last year, when the level of water at my local marsh was pretty low and there seemed to be lots of snapping turtles, most of the ducklings did not survive. After a lot of construction at the marsh, water levels are higher and I am hoping that things will be a little easier on the duck families.

I don’t know how old these ducklings are, but they appear to be tiny—even adult Hooded Mergansers are pretty small. A family of Hooded Mergansers was spotted earlier this week and I suspect that this is the same one, so they may be a week or so old.

I was not able to get very close to the ducks and the conscientious Mama duck started swimming away as soon as she sensed my presence early yesterday morning. You can see details in the first two shots, which are cropped a fair amount, but I included a final shot, which shows more of the setting, because I love the beautiful ripples in the water.

mama_duck1_blogmama_duck2_blogmama_duck3_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »

Walking along the boardwalk at my local marsh yesterday morning, scanning the surface of the water, I noticed some movement and suddenly a female Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) with eight little ducklings swam into view. They were pretty far away in the shallow water, amidst the plants that have sprung up, but I managed to get a few shots of the family. The female Hooded Merganser ducks cares for the young alone, unlike the Canada Geese families that I see at the marsh, in which both parents are present.

I was heartened to see this group of ducklings, because I had heard from others at the marsh of dwindling number of ducklings earlier in the season. I have no idea how many of these little ones will survive—they seem so small and vulnerable (not to mention cute) and the snapping turtles are huge in comparison.

mergansers2_blog

mergansers1_blog

Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

Read Full Post »