A couple weeks ago I was fortunate to be hiding at the edge of a lake at Busch Conservation Area when two canvasbacks landed at sunrise. I was working from a tip from my friend, Kevin Meneau, that the stunning drakes had been using the lake for a few days so I took a chance that they might return. It was bone-chillingly cold, as usual this winter, but the suffering paid off when the paddle-footed suspects landed just as the morning light cast an orange glow across the water. Normally, I would have preferred a more conventional shot than the featured silhouette but I loved the way the image accentuated the Roman profile of these stout waterfowl.
I’ve included a second image, taken later in the morning, which provides a more conventional look at the canvasbacks. I’ve rarely had a chance over the last seven years to photograph this species so I was thrilled when they approached me for a closer look.
The canvasback is not the finest of table ducks but it is beloved by most waterfowlers and birdwatchers. The bright red head, ruby eyes, sloping profile, and contrasting cream-colored and black body of this species makes it a joy to behold! I was in awe of their presence on that frigid Saturday morning.
Thanks for looking,
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