They don’t start out life all colored in.
A short while ago, I published an image of a spectacular male Wood Duck keeping a watchful eye on his brood. There was good reason to be watchful: There were so many of them!
The female Wood Duck and her brood had taken a break from swimming the river, jumping up in a lineup along a fallen tree. There was a bit of a tussle as they scrambled up among the turtles that had been sunning there, but eventually everybody seemed to fit in and settle down.
If you look carefully toward the right side, you can see a bit of yet another young duckling. There may have been a couple of others there… I lost count after a while.
From his log perch on the Silver River in Florida, a male Wood Duck keeps a close eye on his mate and their brood of baby ducklings.
For my preferences, Silver River is an amazing place to photograph wildlife from our kayaks. Motorboats are allowed to travel only at idle speed. No fishing is allowed. The five mile stretch of the Silver is essentially a wildlife sanctuary, attracting all manner of creatures. In fact, if you leave the Silver River and travel the nearby Oklawaha River, with fewer restrictions, it’s like night-and-day.
April is a great time to visit. The sun is getting warmer, flowers are starting to bloom, and the local critters are busy making ever more critters.
In this scene, I took some time to float near the male Wood Duck, who seemed quite unaffected by our presence. At the time, I thought he was solitary, but as it turns out, his mate was nearby and had a brood of eight or nine ducklings. (I’ll have an image of the brood coming up soon.)
If you haven’t yet seen it, one of my images of the Rhesus macaque monkeys at Silver River was picked up by Seeker Daily, part of the Discovery Network, and featured in a short video piece. You can find that video on YouTube, titled “Is There A Monkey Island In Florida?”