A Ruddy Duck Outing

Ruddy Duck - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2500 second at f/6.3 on ISO 800

The Ruddy Duck is an odd creature.  Blue bill, white cheeks, russet toned back feathers with liberal sections of black and motley brown.  I find them to be a beautiful bird but I wouldn’t take issue with someone who felt differently.

Duck flap - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/1600 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Ruddy flaps - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2500 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Along with photographing Yellow-winged Blackbirds and Eared Grebes during my last visit to Frank Lake, there were several Ruddy Ducks that swam nearby and were caught within my viewfinder.

Bill cleaning - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/2000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

The males were more prevalent, swimming in the open away from the reeds.  I’m not sure whether the females were shy or, more likely, staying close to their nests.  A few did pass by, this one came right in front of the blind providing a nice opportunity for me.

A female Ruddy Duck paddling by - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/1250 second at f/6.3 on ISO 800

The males came and went, chasing each other occasionally but mostly just skimming their bills along the water catching insects.

Water chase - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/5000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Splash attack - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/5000 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

These ducks are known for their spiky tail which they often hold straight up when on display.  They seem very formal, almost like a soldier in uniform and at attention, when they do.

Spiky tail on display - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/3200 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

Very cool birds.  I’m hoping to see their ducklings on my next visit to the Frank Lake Conservation Area.

A bubbly greeting - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with Canon 500mm f/4 lens and a 1.4x extender: 1/3200 second at f/6.3 on ISO 1600

9 responses

  1. Wow you’re third shot is so endearing it might as well be an illustration.

    May 31, 2013 at 8:27 pm

  2. Lovely shots Christopher!

    May 31, 2013 at 7:07 pm

  3. Wonderful photos (as usual :))!!! Thank you for providing the settings!

    May 31, 2013 at 12:24 pm

  4. I should have asked your permission before I reblogged. I apologize. Would you prefer I removed your photos from http://bearspawprint.wordpress.com/ ? Some bloggers feel flattered or even honored, but other feel infringed upon. I will
    do as you prefer. —- Bear

    May 31, 2013 at 11:51 am

  5. I love Ruddy Ducks and these are great photos-I have trouble getting close enough to get good shots. It was this duck that got me seriously hooked on birding.I had a friend and we would have a little contest to see who spotted the first Ruddy of the season, then take the other to see it. Unfortunately have not seen one yet this year and sure appreciate yours.Did you know that Daffy Duck (with the sputtering ) was named so after the Ruddy?

    May 31, 2013 at 1:25 am

  6. Great set. I love these captures!

    May 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm

  7. Reblogged this on bearspawprint.

    May 30, 2013 at 6:57 pm

  8. I wish I had your equipment. Beautiful photos of a beautiful bird.

    May 30, 2013 at 4:40 pm

  9. Excellent, I want to reach out and grasp the duck. 🙂

    May 30, 2013 at 4:35 pm

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