Photo of the Day – May 12, 2017

Early Spring Wood Ducks

In the springtime in upstate, NY, Wood Ducks return from their winter homes to their summer breeding grounds.  During the winter months they will pair up for mating.  The hen chooses a drake that she feels will be reliable and steadfast during breeding and will protect her from other males.  The male will then follow her home to her native breeding location for the warmer months.  The ratio of males versus females is high so there are a number of un-mated males.  Often a bachelor will stay close to a mated pair, waiting in the wings and hoping for the male to falter so he can take his place.  That appears to be the case with this threesome.  The drake and hen on the left were a mated pair.  Throughout the spring months, whenever I saw this pair, drake number two was not very far behind.  Photographed at Brick Pond Wetland Preserve in Owego, NY.  April 4, 2015

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