2017 Spring Waterfowl Migration In Full Swing

April 19, 2017  •  1 Comment

I have written several blogs in the past sharing my spring waterfowl migration photos.  For them, I’ve researched various facts to share with the accompanied photos.  This photo blog entry is going to be a little different.  Since these are all subjects I have written about in the past, I’m going to make this one easy on the mind.  Yours and mine!

All of these photographs were made on a bright, sunny day in northwest Pennsylvania.  Wild ducks are afraid of humans and you cannot walk up to them to get closeup portraits.  This kind of wildlife photography takes work and not simply a walk in a park. It is common to use your vehicle as a photo blind.  A vehicle doesn’t provide the lowest angle that one would hope for, getting the photographer at eye-level to the subject, but it is an acceptable tradeoff.  Sometimes, you have to take what you can get.  I hope you enjoy the photographs.

Sometimes, the Ring-necked Duck is mistaken for a Greater or Lesser Scaup.  One quick way to tell the difference is the scaups do not have a white ring on their bills.

Ring-necked DuckRing-necked DuckDrake


The drake Greater Scaup has a blue-gray bill with a black tip.

Greater ScaupGreater Scaup


The dabbling duck American Wigeon, is the New World counterpart of the Eurasian Wigeon.

American WigeonAmerican WigeonDrake


The American Wigeon has also been called “baldpate”.

American WigeonAmerican WigeonHen


A bird of open wetlands, the Northern Pintail is a brief visitor in Pennsylvania as they fly toward their breeding grounds in northern Canada.

Northern PintailNorthern PintailHen & Drake


The chestnut head with large iridescent green patch makes the drake Green-winged Teal easily identifiable.

Green-winged TealGreen-winged TealDrake


The Tundra Swan is completely snowy white.  The rusty-brown color sometimes seen on its head and neck is created by iron in marsh soils.

Tundra SwanTundra Swan


Here is a Northern Shoveler chasing the competition.  There always seem to be more males than females in the water.

Northern ShovelerNorthern Shoveler


These Northern Shovelers are showing a little more acceptance of each other.

Northern ShovelerNorthern Shoveler


Below is a small flock of Northern Pintails flying. 

Northern PintailNorthern PintailDrake/Hen/Drake


Northern Pintail drake finding a place to land.  Can you tell they are probably my favorite migrating duck?

Northern PintailNorthern PintailDrake


Should that line of waterfowl in the distance be concerned while the juvenile Bald Eagle, standing on the ice, stares at them?

Bald EagleBald Eagle


Thanks for looking,



Willard C Hill(non-registered)
Superb images, Dan. They were not a lot of ducks at Middle Creek when I was there this year and they were too far for good photos in most cases so it is especially good to see that you were successful. I have always wondered by they didn't call the Ring-necked ducks Ring-billed ducks instead, but whatever they are called they are one of my favorite species.
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