One morning in mid-March I headed back to Lake Morton for some follow-up pelican shots. But it was another kind of bird that stole the show that morning. As I sat in my favorite location enjoying the gorgeous morning light, a small flock of Wood Ducks was enjoying the spring morning. Everybody was paired up – male, female, male, female. Nesting season was definitely on everybirdy’s mind. Then I noticed this happening…
I haven’t seen Wood Ducks mate before, but when the female lies low in the water like that, it can only mean one thing. Two seconds later, this was happening…
I’ve never understood why the male seems to bite the back of the female’s head, but he sure does! I got a few more frames in…
…and then it was over as quickly as it started. The male hopped away, and the female resurfaced and gave herself a good bath.
He looks pretty pleased with himself, doesn’t he? I have a feeling we’ll have lots of baby Wood Ducks in Lakeland this year!
I sat in the wet grass, grinning from ear to ear. Sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time! The reflections in the water were gorgeous, the birds were gorgeous, and I just happened to have the 2x teleconverter on The Beast at just the right time to capture the sequence.
The morning light continued. I love this part of the lake! The water is magical there. The ducks continued their morning routine, calling to each other and splashing around in the lake. I tried to capture their open mouths as they called.
In the shot above, I love how the green reflected in the lake water matches the green of the male’s face.
All too soon the ducks decided it was time to swim off. But before they left me, I got a good wing flap from a male!
This was just the start of an incredible morning at the lake. Come back to find out more!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Morton?
Check out my Lake Morton page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!