Every birder has what is known as a nemesis bird. Mine was the wood duck. Try as I might, every time I would try to find a wood duck, I came up empty handed. I’d even get messages from a friend and be there 20 minutes later and no duck.
But it didn’t stop me from trying again and again. Patience and perseverance finally paid off. Actually, the only way I was able to shake the curse of the wood duck was to go and visit one that was practically tame. Once I finally set my eyes on this stunning duck, I began seeing them all over the place.
This time though, it was a trip to visit the Super 8 Ducks. Like a super hero, two wood ducks have found a safe haven in a little pond in front of the Super 8 Motel in Joppa, Maryland.
When I drove up to the small pond, the ducks rushed to the pond’s edge and up to the car, thinking some food would be had. They got so close in fact, I could hardly fit a wood duck into my 500mm view.
Since I had rushed out of the house and forgot to bring some corn, I ran up to a jiffy-mart and brought back some popcorn. Getting out of the car, the ducks quickly dashed to the further side of the pond. Not discouraged, I set up my camera and tripod and sat in my little chair waiting for their return. Waited..and waited. You meet the Coot yesterday. He was the only brave one.
While one of the wood ducks slept amongst his mallard friends, the other swam about. I watched him walk through the Canada geese and just randomly harass one. Pecking at him while walking by. A little colorful bully was he. And the geese weren’t the only one he harassed.
After a couple of hours, the cold was starting to set in. Getting back into my car, I went to the other side of the pond and was able to get some lovely captures of this colorful bird.
Wood ducks are perhaps one of my most favorite ducks, as in nature they can be so elusive. But when you finally get to set your eyes on them, their stunning beauty is well worth the search.
Yet another duck with beady red eyes, which I really don’t quite understand. My hunter friend swears they are great eating, but I’ll never let him know where I find one. These ducks live their lives fast and furious. Nesting in trees and wood boxes, they rarely pass their fourth birthday in the wild. Bring them into captivity, they can live until their teens. Clearly a predator favorite in the wild.
It’s no wonder they’re shy with strangers, but yet assertive among their feathered friends.