Beyond the Backyard

Black-Bellied Whistling-Ducklings at Viera Wetlands

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All Alone- Black-bellied Whistling-Ducklings

Two weeks ago I went out in search of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducklings at Viera Wetlands.  Usually the wetlands are quiet during the summertime, and it’s a great place to stay in your air-conditioned car while you wait for birding action.  But on this visit, I quickly found several families of the Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks, and their cuteness made me very happy to sit out in the hot sun and photograph them! The little ducklings are striped yellow and black for the first few weeks of their lives.  They look so different than their parents!  This was a very sweet family to watch.  The two parents were very attentive to their little ducklings.  They swam all over together, and the babies never got far from the parents.  The babies spent most of the morning feeding themselves.  Mom and Dad’s job was to chase off any predators. Speaking of dangers, a small alligator sleeping on a log was a constant reminder that the marsh is not an easy place for a tiny duckling.  Predators lurk at every turn.  I was surprised to see how close the little family swam to the alligator.  The alligator just laid there dozing. Not all of the families were […]

Backyard photography

Barn Swallows

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A few nights ago I mentioned seeing lots of swallows flying over the neighborhood in the evenings.  Today I took my new camera on our walk and got some pictures.  I think they are Barn Swallows.  They continue to fly over the neighborhood in regular patterns at dusk. Note: Gotta love ISO 12,800 on my new Canon 7D for capturing any kind of detail in tiny birds zooming over my head during a 100% cloudcover evening long after the sun has set!!  Not that this is a great image by any means, but at least I could identify the little birds.