By: Pat Coate
North Chagrin Nature Reserve in Willoughby Hills near Cleveland is supposed to be one of the premier locations to photograph wood ducks. Last weekend, along with the wood duck photo ops, they sponsored a nature photography weekend. So with the allure of the wood ducks and the added bonus of the seminar, I decided to head to Willoughby Hills to check things out.
The keynote speaker was actually not a nature photographer, but a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist – Jay Dickman. His photos were fantastic as was his presentation on how he captured his shots.
As for the wood ducks, the weather wasn’t as sunny as forecast, but there were a few breaks in the clouds that provided some good lighting to try to capture these spectacularly plumed ducks.
The male wood duck really is bizarrely colored, from the red eyes and bill to the polka dots on the breast to the strong white and black markings.
Not sure what this behavior signifies, but the male would occasionally raise his head as he swam by the female. Something related to courtship I suppose…..oh look how tall I am…..
My favorite part of this picture is the No Fishing sign reflected in the water.
I think the male wood duck has every color of the rainbow and then some.
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