Readers’ wildlife photos and videos

June 20, 2018 • 8:00 am

It’s time to start getting your photos together if you’d like to submit them here. I still have an appreciable backlog, but there can never be too many. Today we have (wait for it) DUCKS! Yes, more Anas platyrhynchus. Charlie Jones of Pennsylvania has sent the brood near him, and his notes are indented:

You’ve got 8 ducks, Stephen of Idaho has 9, and we’ve got TEN.  Not that this is a competition.

The photos were taken by Hannah Jones in low light at the Wingfield Pines acid mine drainage treatment area about 8 miles south of Pittsburgh.  Since you sometimes visit the area, I thought you might be interested to know (if you don’t already) that they took an environmental problem—a gushing spring of acidic mine waters that are very rich in iron—and turned it into a series of settling ponds and a wetlands that are otherwise rare in our region.  (Since the glaciers stopped north of here, we do not have the abundant lakes and wetlands seen farther north.)  The passive treatment system attracts a host of birds that would otherwise fly over us, which makes Wingfield Pines a local birding hotspot.  Giving the acidity of the mine waters, the analogy of turning lemons to lemonade is relatively apt!

And a video.

This one has the ducklings working hard, and near the end the rear duckling rear-ends his siblings, causing a bit of a chain reaction.

A blue-winged teal makes a cameo appearance.

8 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos and videos

  1. At the time when I lived in the Pittsburgh area Wingfield Pines was a small golf course. I never played there and was unaware of its transformation. I’ll definitely have to check it out when I’m back in town. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Nice photos. I thought the season was about finished for the little ones around here but they just continue to show up.

  3. Saw a heron yesterday but alas they are a lot shyer than ducks and it quickly skedaddled. Didn’t have a camera anyway though haha.

    1. Herons aren’t always so shy. Fishing on the beach in southern Florida, it is pretty common to have a great blue heron hanging around the bait bucket looking to snag a shrimp or two.

  4. Thank you for the great duck photos.
    Out of curiosity, what is the pH of the settling pond

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