Photo of the Day: Mallard Duckling

by John Briggs on August 6, 2010

in Bird Photographs, Blog, Maine Birds, Photo of the Day, Wildlife

Mallard Duckling

Mallard Duckling - Sucking Mud

Several weeks ago, I was standing coveside in our backyard watching a pair of Osprey fishing out in the cove. After half an hour of watching, the Osprey did not get close enough to photograph and I thought about going back to the house. Just as I was turning to leave, I saw some movement in the marsh grass to my left. Several seconds later, a family of Mallards came out of the marsh grass. They had no idea that I was standing there and I snapped a few photos.

Momma Mallard kept a watchful eye as the ducklings sucked mud. And it is exactly what it sounds like too! That’s what I call it when a duck sifts the mud to catch insects, crustaceans and seeds. During the fall, and if our windows are open, we can hear several hundred ducks of all types feeding in the cove at low tide. They collectively sift the mud making the sucking sound than can be heard up to 100 yards away if conditions are favorable.

Here are two photos of the proud momma and her ducklings.

All photos taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 400mm f/4 L IS lens. Simply click a thumbnail for a full-sized view.

Mallard family

Mallard family

Mallard family

Mallard family

Happy birding!

 

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