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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Wood Ducks

February 10th, 2014 · 2 Comments

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Wood ducks are the most colorful waterbirds native to North America. And one of the great things about cold weather here in Boulder is that they come here in winter.

But when the weather turns as cold as it’s been here lately, their options are limited. They need open water, because they are ducks, and need trees nearby because woods are their habitat. In Boulder I know of only two suitable places for them, Boulder Creek, which runs through downtown Boulder, and Tantra Lake, which is right in front of my apartment. A few miles away in Wheat Ridge is another preferred habit along Clear Creek, another waterway that is big enough and fast flowing enough that stays free of ice in places.
This winter one male wood duck has been hanging out with a large group of mallards in Boulder Creek. This lone male has been waiting months for a female to find him here.

He May be Saying, “This Water is COLD!”

He May be Saying, “This Water is COLD!”

Click on the picture above to enlarge

One of the special things about wood ducks is how they can stretch their necks. A few days ago I went back to Boulder Creek to look for this guy, and he was looking into the water for something to eat or drink.

“I Love to Drink COLD Water!"

“I Love to Drink COLD Water!"

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Three years ago another wood duck visited me here at Tantra Lake.

The Water Here at Tantra Lake Was Also Cold Enough to Drink

The Water Here at Tantra Lake Was Also Cold Enough to Drink

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Yet another lone wood duck came to Clear Creek a couple of years ago. This guy just got out of the water. Can you spot the big drop of water hanging from his belly?

A Male Wood Duck Rests on a Rock in the River

A Male Wood Duck Rests on a Rock in the River

Click on the picture above to enlarge

One website says that male wood ducks have more than six different colors. Actually, I think that I can see eight to 10. How many colors do you count?

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Posted in: Photography

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Onoosh // Mar 1, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Great pics, as always, David! And did you know that nesting boxes for Wood Ducks are often put in the wrong place–out in lakes or ponds–instead of a few yards back, IN the woods?

    Placing the boxes above water will cause “dumping” of eggs which the ducks won’t hatch. They aren’t called “Wood” Ducks because all the other good names were taken! ;-)

  • 2 David Mendosa // Mar 1, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Dear Onoosh,

    Thank you for writing and letting me know about the nesting boxes for wood ducks. That was news to me.

    Namaste,

    David

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