Birds of a Feather


This week’s photo, taken November 27, 2013 at Meadowbrook Pond in Northeast Seattle, WA, features a male WOOD DUCK and the duck he desires most, a female MALLARD.

Birds of a feather do not always flock together. For over a year now, one WOOD DUCK has been hanging out with dozens of MALLARDS at Meadowbrook Pond. This male Wood Duck shows a special interest in one particular female MALLARD. Clearly, they are an item, and they are not trying to hide their relationship. Whether they are standing side by side on the shore while snoozing with their bills tucked into their back feathers, or they are floating around the pond while feeding, they are basically inseparable.

Mr. Wood Duck has even developed Mallard-like behavior. While most ducks cautiously paddle away from us humans when we approach, Mallards often swim toward us, shamelessly hoping for a handout. As I stand at the water’s edge while taking photos, Meadowbrook’s Wood Duck fearlessly and Mallard-ly swims straight at me, usually with his lady friend close behind.


About Joe Sweeney

I photograph birds to share the beauty and wonder I find in nature.
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5 Responses to Birds of a Feather

  1. Gary Grantham says:

    I’m glad to see you are branching out into duck diversity, Joe. This is a topic that needs more exposure.

  2. Mary Friestedt says:

    What a beautiful love story, Joe. Loved it!

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

    :)) Mary

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. thomasgable says:

    The male woodduck might be one of the most beautiful ducks! Great capture of the pair

  4. Sharon Berlan says:

    We had the same thing in CP last year by the Plaza pond….I assume they can interbreed?

    Sharon We Can Cure Chordoma!

  5. Connie Saunders says:

    Joe, I’m sure you’ll let us know if a “Wood-Mallard” duck appears next Spring. Could the Mallard egg have somehow been placed in the Wood Duck nest and the Mallard imprinted on the Wood Duck? Not sure if ducks play the same raise-my-offspring-please type of games as song birds do. Interesting behavior.

    Connie Saunders Minneapolis area

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