The end of last year’s duck season was graced by the presence at Botany Pond of three itinerant wood ducks (Aix sponsa), who didn’t breed here but hung around for a couple of weeks eating the chow meant for the mallards.
Wood ducks are among the world’s most beautiful ducks (second only, perhaps, to mandarin ducks), and we were pleased to see the males molt into full coloration while they were here. We had two males, Frisky and Blockhead (the latter named because he was slow to learn the food regimen), and a lovely female named Ruth. Frisky would court Ruth, gently nibbling on her head and neck, but because mating season was well over, it was only to form a pair bond. Actually, Ruth left before the two males did.
But here are some photos of Frisky courting Ruth, and I’ve posted only one of these before. Enjoy the love. (The males, of course, are the brightly colored ones.)
Click the photos to enlarge them.