Sunday, April 25, 2010

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks basking in the Florida sun...

Birding Longboat Key, Florida
These beautiful ducks took me by surprise. They are gorgeous...rich russets, pink-orange bills, white eye rings, really long legs and necks, and to top it off, very noticeable Mohawk racing stripes painted down the back of their heads and necks.

Look at how long those legs are--not very ducky, and the necks are longer than the average duck too--almost swanlike. Males and females both look alike, which also is a bit un-ducky.

...wouldn't you think these exotic-looking beauties would be hidden away in a secluded location far from people? Nope...they were about 20 paces off the parking lot of a golf course, and they almost seemed tame--completely opposite of the timid Wood Ducks around our town that fly away whistling in terror at the slightest footstep.

...thank you for turning your head to show off that really cool Mohawk racing stripe. You're such a dude.

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks like to nest in tree cavities like the Wood Ducks. They take to nest boxes also. I didn't get to see one standing in a tree, though. It was mid-afternoon, and they were busy eating clover.

:-)

45 comments:

DK Miller said...

Great shots Kelly. What cute ducks those are.

Rebecca said...

Those have been on my mental "wish list" of birds to see for a long time! Very cool.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Wow, they are a pretty cool duck. I love the broad brush stroke patterns on their backs.

Laure Ferlita said...

I've either never seen these or did not realize it when I did see them! So cool! They look like they're smiling at you!!

As to the tame part...they probably are, especially if they were hanging out on the golf course where they get fed on a regular basis!

Bird Girl said...

These are such pretty ducks. And in the first shot - they actually look like they smiled at the camera for you! Simply lovely exposures and light!

Larry said...

Beautiful captures of some very handsome ducks! I have come to really appreciate ducks in all of their duckiness. Their gorgeous colors, fun behaviors and their uncanny ability to make me smile

I would love to see the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck in person. I didn't realize they lived in Florida but it's not surprising. It seems that Florida has an enormous number of bird species to its credit.

Elaine said...

Fabulous photos! I had never heard of these ducks, let alone seen them, but given that their range is very far south of here I guess that might explain it. They are really cool. I love that mohawk!

holdingmoments said...

Great looking ducks Kelly.
Love that mohican stripe.

NatureFootstep said...

I agree with everything you say here. Great birds and great phootage. And I really lowe the Mohawk hairdo.
Have a nice week. :)

Wren said...

Great photos, Kelly. I hadn't paid attention to the eye ring in the past, but you are showing it quite clearly. Same goes for the Mohawk.

Chris said...

Hi Kelly,
Wow how cute they are! Very beautiful and they for sure have a very good hear-dresser ;-) I love this almost hoop they have on their head and this black strip is very funny... These are punk duck! You got very nice portrait of them. How far were you?

Roy said...

Nice and unusual colouring on these ducks Kelly, great photos.

Jayne said...

Those guys/gals are gorgeous!!! I've never heard of them. What fun!

Hilke Breder said...

What spectacular photos! You are getting a lot of nourishment out of your Florida trip - every post in that series has been wonderful

Mumsy said...

Gorgeous capture, and the colors on these ducks are amazing. Beautiful macro shots!

Montanagirl said...

Kelly, these are wonderful shots. Have never heard of this type of duck. Love those Mohawks! Great job.

Dina said...

Beautiful shots! These are my favorite ducks. I see them every once in a while in Tampa but not too often.

grammie g said...

Wow!! Do you know how many differnt spieces of ducks there are?? I have seen so many beauties on blogs from everywhere!! It is amazing how friendly they are...like you said around here to...they hear you coming a mile away!!! Do you think you can capture that great feather pattern and colors on there back,on canvas??

Richard said...

Stunning picture Kelly. Such details.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

What beautiful ducks--they have such sweet, expressive faces. I haven't seen any of these before--must keep my eyes open for them.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There Kelly, I'm trying to catch up today... Will take me forever!!!! ha....

Your photos and paintings are WONDERFUL... That duck is gorgeous. You should paint him!!!!

Love your interpretation --in red--of the Nuthatch.

Hope you have a wonderful week.
Hugs,
Betsy

Idaho Birder said...

Very pretty pictures!

Sarah Knight said...

Wow, those are beautiful birds! Well, fowl :)
Great shots!
All we seem to have around here are the mallards & the canada geese (which I suppose aren't really ducks...).

Kerri said...

Excellent captures~ WOW~ They are beautiful ducks!

Maggie said...

Wow! in the last picture, the ducks don't even look real! The spectacular coloring of their feathers looks watercolored painted!

Susan said...

Those ducks look like they're smiling! As would I be if I was that cute...great shots Kelly and your commentary is perfect!

Anna said...

Kelly you did it again. Great work. Anna :)

Warren Baker said...

They look like a cross between ducks and geese Kelly. Certainly are characters though!

Could shakespeare write something about them!

The Early Birder said...

Did you whistle to see if they would answer? Love the 'punky' hairdo. FAB

Valerie said...

Fantastic captures.
Wow what beautiful birds.
I love their beaks.
My favorite was the shot of the 3 together.

Very very nice!

ZenaT_Pinter2284 said...

Nice Post~!!!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Dave Lewis said...

Outstanding Kelly! Especially the last shots ;)

Mary said...

They really are beautiful! I love that last shot showing their backs.

Wanda said...

Beautiful 'two in a row' photo, then you captured three in a row, but that last photo was superb! I agree with Betsy, it begs for you to paint it, Kelly!
♥...Wanda

Kathiesbirds said...

Wonderful photos! Though I have seen this species I have never been priviledged to get this close to them. I never noticed the mowhawk! Love the gentle faces and I absolutley love the colors of those feathers. That last photo is spectacular!

Phil said...

What fantastic expressions you captured on the ducks' faces there Kelly. Very , very accomplished.

ShySongbird said...

Hi Kelly, It's lovely to be back :)

What an unusual looking duck! Great photos I particularly liked the fourth one down.

I also loved your paintings on the previous post. Looking back further I was very taken with the Woodpecker eating the poor old Salamander and Rick's stunning photos of the Heron.

Nature As Is said...

Wow love this post Kelly I have never seen the likes of these ducks...I think I'm in love. The first shot took my breath away!!! Lovely just Lovely...

Johnny Nutcase said...

i looove black-bellied whistlers! they are SO cute and these pictures are just plain awesome! Excellent!

Kelly said...

...I know...I think we all agree...these ducks are the sweetest, most gorgeous things! They were totally off my radar, and when i saw them I was stunned. Mother Nature always knows how to sneak one in on us! Thanks for all the wonderful comments...I always love hearing what everyone has to say! There are only a few people around where I live who get as excited as I do over birds. It's always so nice knowing other bird lovers are out there!

dAwN said...

Gorgeous shots Kelly! Love the color and composition..
Whenever I come here i get so jealous for a DSLR camera..but I am too lazy to lug around a heavy camera..
I get very tempted when I see your photos..
Of course I know it is not all the camera..it is the photographer behind the camera, making it all come out so beautifully!

Patricia said...

Hi Kelly! Your blog and photography are stunning!!! Two of these beautiful ducks flew across our property and perched atop a tall long-leaf pine - too far away for my point and shoot camera to capture clearly. Your shots are fantastic. Thank you. Blessings, Patricia

Evelyn Izquierdo said...

I saw him today and take pictures. Years ago living in the same area. They are beautiful and friendly.

Kim Miles said...

Thanks for posting these great pictures. My family and I are enjoying these beautiful ducks in our Venice neighborhood. We have been wondering what type of odd duck they are and now we know - THANKS! Kim

Ayami Imako said...

Craziest thing ... just had two of these under our deer feeder (not for hunting.. just like watching the deer..) of all things. I live in the middle of a fairly heavily wooded area in Central Texas. I guess they were returning home migrating. Dunno. But no mistake in what they were. They were eating cracked deer corn .. well that or deer poop.