Posts Tagged ‘northern’

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, I have an affinity for things from the north and was amused to find that two of my favorite birds from this past weekend are called “Northern”—the Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) and the Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata).

Sometimes it seems that I shoot subjects in cycles. At one point this past summer, I felt like I was shooting a lot of new and interesting subjects that turned out to have “Common” in their names. In addition to the two Northerners that I am featuring today, this winter I have also photographed Northern Cardinals, Northern Flickers, and Northern Mockingbirds.

The day that I took these photos was gray, misty, and overcast, which gave the water an interesting gray tinge. Fortunately there was  enough light to cast interesting reflections onto the water’s surface.

I like the contrast between the body shapes and colors of these two ducks.  The elegance of the long neck and understated, conservative colors of the pintail are quite different from the bold colors and the counter-culture look of the shoveler’s bill. In some ways, they seem to represent the establishment, on the one hand, and the rebel, on the other.


Male Northern Pintail at Huntley Meadows Park

Male Northern Shoveler at Huntley Meadows Park

Male Northern Shoveler at Huntley Meadows Park

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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