Beyond the BackyardLake Apopka

An Unexpected Encounter

Last Saturday I was photographing at the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive when I had an interesting and unexpected encounter. I noticed a pair of Blue-winged Teal and thought how pretty they looked in the bright morning light. I knelt down, hand-holding the Beast, and followed them as they swam across the water. The male is especially pretty, so I was happy when he swam off on his own…

Blue-winged Teal Male

Then suddenly, he perked up and swam straight at me.

Teal with an Attitude!

Next thing I know, he had swum up to the female and climbed on her back. It didn’t look comfortable as he reached down and bit her neck with his beak.

Blue-winged Teal Courtship

“But it’s only January!!” I thought as the birds ensured the continuation of their species. It only lasted a couple of seconds, but the poor female was trapped under the water with the male biting at her the whole time.

Then as quickly as it started, the male swam off, and that was that!

I guess springtime is just around the corner! :)