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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Birds 
Thread started 01 Dec 2012 (Saturday) 09:57
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Wood Duck & the Beaver

 
dbriz
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Dec 01, 2012 09:57 |  #1

It seems any story of animal interaction and behavior are interesting in any part the world. Especially when it involves birds and animals of complete diversity. This November I witnessed just this phenomena between a wood duck and beaver.

A friend and fellow photographer journeyed with me to a beaver pond to observe six beavers working on their winter headquarters. We previously watched them construct and patch their house and now went back to check on their progress. Ice had begun to form around their house and in many areas of the pond. They were all busily involved in adding alder to their food pile for the winter months... and having lunch.

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As we quietly photographed and watched the beavers work, the scene was interrupted by a colorful figure. A beautiful, lone male wood duck appeared, paddling around sheets of ice. Amazingly, his feathers were as beautiful as spring breeding plumage. Not only were we surprised by the beauty of the woody, but by his complete acceptance of our presence. This was not normal for any wood duck I have photographed in the wild.

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The pond was about sixty percent ice covered and the wood duck either paddled or walked on the ice foraging for food. His food search was quite unique. He not only picked up floating particles, but but broke off ice chunks to free trapped morsels of vegetation.

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The duck and the beaver seemed to mind their own business as they maneuvered around the ice sheets and open water. One of the adult beavers was comical to watch, because he moved effortlessly through the frigid water with a small ice sheet frozen to his head.

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An unexpected behavioral moment took place and I almost missed it. The wood duck was drifting along with one of the adult beavers.

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The duck and the beaver floated over to the reed shoreline and the duck cozied up to the beaver as she ate her shoreline lunch.

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It is not like I see and photograph a beaver family every day... but I marveled first of all, seeing a wood duck this late in the fall, then watching him of all things, bond with a beaver. Secondly, the beaver seemed not to mind the intrusion of the bird. Truly a strange partnership in one of my numerous bird and animal observations through the years.

The interaction did not last long, as the duck paddled away to find more food. It was however, an entertaining moment for the photographers watching this "odd couple"... and certainly a moment we were fortunate to capture.

I am hoping Mr. Wood Duck is now winging his way to a warm water pond in the south, while his beaver friends are snug in their far north house.

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rick_reno
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Dec 01, 2012 10:33 |  #2

great shots, incredible how they seem to hang out together.




  
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CDMOOSE
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Dec 01, 2012 11:03 |  #3

A great story and great shots, Dave. Beaver are not my favorite rodents as I have battled them over my trees for 35 years. I like them in somebody else's pond just fine though. A good job, my friend; the wood duck is sure a beaut.
Al


Al
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Flo
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Dec 01, 2012 11:27 as a reply to  @ CDMOOSE's post |  #4

What a great story Dave!


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Don1
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Dec 01, 2012 13:40 |  #5

Great series Dave. That first Wood Duck image is exceptional.


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Wallace ­ River
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Dec 01, 2012 13:49 as a reply to  @ Don1's post |  #6

Wonderful series Dave, and so nice to see you back in gear here. The colors of the wood duck are so vibrant. Quite an odd couple indeed.


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horse51
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Dec 01, 2012 19:37 |  #7

Coolness !...fun series !


Alan "horse51" Barbor
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kd_reno
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Dec 01, 2012 19:57 |  #8

Great series. The separate shots of each re excellent and good opportunities to shoot either are hard to come by. But those last two are way out of the ordinary.


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Jonno1964
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Dec 02, 2012 00:57 |  #9

A great set. The colours on he duck are spectacular.


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Oldjackssparrows
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Dec 02, 2012 06:59 |  #10

Thats really cool Dave, amazing how smart they can be at times. breaking ice to get more food. Another Book worthy set briz, Well done indeed!


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J.Litton
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Dec 02, 2012 07:42 |  #11

Thats awesome!


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D. ­ Vance
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Dec 02, 2012 08:04 |  #12

Now that's cool! Good shots!


I wonder if the video editors on The Titanic ever went, "Sorry, I can't right now. I'm busy synching the Titanic..."

  
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Levina ­ de ­ Ruijter
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Dec 02, 2012 08:13 |  #13

That's an amazing story, Dave, and so are the images. It must have been wonderful to see it happening. Also wonderful is seeing you active in the bird forum again. You have been missed, my friend.


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dbriz
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Dec 02, 2012 17:04 |  #14

rick_reno wrote in post #15312180 (external link)
great shots, incredible how they seem to hang out together.

Thank you Rick... we watched them until the Wood Duck flew out at dark... fun day.

CDMOOSE wrote in post #15312273 (external link)
A great story and great shots, Dave. Beaver are not my favorite rodents as I have battled them over my trees for 35 years. I like them in somebody else's pond just fine though. A good job, my friend; the wood duck is sure a beaut.
Al

Thanks Al... I remember that the beaver is not on your list of favorites ;) this pond was on the outskirts of a state park... pretty duck for this late in the year and quite interesting that he was hanging out with those "handsome devils." :rolleyes:

Flo wrote in post #15312342 (external link)
What a great story Dave!

Thanks Gail.. appreciate hearing from you.

Don1 wrote in post #15312796 (external link)
Great series Dave. That first Wood Duck image is exceptional.

Hi Don.. thanks and great to hear from you.

Wallace River wrote in post #15312840 (external link)
Wonderful series Dave, and so nice to see you back in gear here. The colors of the wood duck are so vibrant. Quite an odd couple indeed.

Thanks so much Ian.. thought the forum would get a kick out of this series, hopefully I will have a few more things to contribute down the road.

horse51 wrote in post #15313963 (external link)
Coolness !...fun series !

Thanks for looking in and commenting

kd_reno wrote in post #15314022 (external link)
Great series. The separate shots of each re excellent and good opportunities to shoot either are hard to come by. But those last two are way out of the ordinary.

Thank you.. it was an interesting day since we had no idea this duck would show up, we wanted to get some beaver shots before the pond froze up for the winter.

Jonno1964 wrote in post #15314815 (external link)
A great set. The colours on he duck are spectacular.

I was quite happy with the duck images I got that day... november lighting up here is quite sketchy and short.... thank you for the nice comments.

BGgraphy wrote in post #15315264 (external link)
Thats really cool Dave, amazing how smart they can be at times. breaking ice to get more food. Another Book worthy set briz, Well done indeed!

Hi Bret ... I watched him "chew" off many pieces of ice, unfortunately the shots were not the best... thank you my friend.

J.Litton wrote in post #15315340 (external link)
Thats awesome!

Thank you Jason, appreciate hearing from you.

D. Vance wrote in post #15315390 (external link)
Now that's cool! Good shots!

Thank you for commenting, happy you enjoyed the series.

Levina de Ruijter wrote in post #15315414 (external link)
That's an amazing story, Dave, and so are the images. It must have been wonderful to see it happening. Also wonderful is seeing you active in the bird forum again. You have been missed, my friend.

Hi Levina, a fun day in the field... glad you enjoyed the story. Good to post again and hearing from you always makes my day... thanks so much.


7d, 50D, 400mm f/5.6, 300mm f/4, 70-200mm f/4 IS, 50mm f/1.8

  
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hTr
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Dec 02, 2012 20:18 |  #15

Great Set Dave!!


gary

  
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Wood Duck & the Beaver
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