Wood ducks at the Reifel Bird Sanctuary

Among the reflections - © Christopher Martin-2413-2

I have always loved the crazy colours and patterns displayed by the male Wood duck (Aix sponsa).  They have been somewhat elusive in the areas I am typically out photographing wildlife.  When I was at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary a couple of weeks ago, I came across a raft of them paddling around a chain of small ponds sheltered by overhanging branches above and reeds behind.

Under branches - © Christopher Martin-1780

A quick look back - © Christopher Martin-2315

The ripples in the water and the distorted reflections served as a chaotic yet still suitable background to photograph these beautiful birds.  I stopped and enjoyed almost an hour of watching these fellows swim, waddle and chase one another as well as their better halves.  The weather picked a great time to cloud over and the diffused, even light allowed those colours and the textures in the feathers to own the stage in several of the images.

Out of the reeds - © Christopher Martin-2145

Paddling through reality - © Christopher Martin-2061

One of the last ones I photographed before moving on caught my eye as it hopped out of the water onto a log jutting out of the water.  After shaking himself off, he cocked his head and fixed me with this one-eyed stare.  The stare, his body posture along with the tail feathers slightly askew suggested a bit of a character and he was a fitting model to finish this duck encounter with.

Strike a pose... Vogue - © Christopher Martin-2444

5 responses

  1. Val

    Lovely, Chris. Thanks.

    March 30, 2013 at 8:41 am

  2. Amazing photographs. The wood duck looks like he is hand painted. What a wonderful experience for you.

    March 30, 2013 at 6:58 am

  3. One showy fellow, have him on my “to see”list. Great photos, you ever see this one at Maligne? Oh and I looked up this sanctuary , will make a trip there in the future. Thanks for bringing my attention to this.

    March 29, 2013 at 10:25 am

  4. Beautiful photos. Wood ducks are one of the most beautiful ducks out there. Love the last one.

    March 29, 2013 at 9:06 am

  5. Beautiful…..

    March 29, 2013 at 8:16 am

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