Monday, February 25, 2008

Wood Duck Couple

About a week ago, my friend, Kathy, who belongs to my Meetup Group (Florida State Photography Meetup Group), and I went to Lowrey Park Zoo in Tampa for the afternoon.

There were so many things to capture there, I could've stayed a lot longer, but, we had to get home before rush hour.

Kathy and I are both passionate about photographing nature. This pair of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) can be found anywhere from Brittish Columbia south to CA, and from Montana east to Nova Scotia and south to TX and Florida. They are absent in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. They winter near the Pacific Coast north to Washington, and to New Jersey in the East. They rarely go further north.

Their habitat is in wooded rivers and ponds, wooded swamps and they visit freshwater marshes in late summer and fall. They nest in cavities, which enable them to breed in areas lacking suitable ground cover. The young leave the nest soon after hatching, jumping from the nesting cavity to the ground or water. Once out of the nest, they travel through wooded ponds with their mother. Snapping turtles take a heavy toll of the young.

I was thrilled to capture this couple. This is the time of year that they form pairs and begin to look for nesting sites.
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