Focus on Waterfowl (Audubon Center at Riverlands)

September 26, 2013

This week I’ve been preparing 10 waterfowl images for an exhibit at the Audubon Center at Riverlands in West Alton, Missouri. The exhibit will begin in October and each waterfowl image will be featured as an 11 x 14 glossy print in a 16 x 20 frame. I’ve included some of my favorite waterfowl photos from past years, but also some images that I’ve never released before, including this featured image of a small group of trumpeter swans at the Riverlands. I’ll never forget those magic mornings photographing the swans from my kayak as the rose-colored prairie conspired with each rising sun to produce an ethereal canvas of color and light. It is hard to believe that there was just a handful of these magnificent birds left in the early 1900’s.

My photos will be part of the “Working Wildfowl” exhibit, which kicks off on Friday, October 4, with a reception that will feature wonderful interaction among nature lovers, bird watchers, waterfowl professionals, decoy carvers and collectors, artists and many others who just love the outdoors. You can find out more about the reception and purchase tickets here. I will be there, with Joyce of course, to talk about the photos and anything else on your mind. Also, I’ll give you a heads up that the hors d’oeuvres at last year’s event were simply amazing!

The second image this week is of an American coot that I photographed at Marais Temps Clair Conservation area last spring.


Coots are considered pretty low on the food chain by duck hunters but they are striking creatures with an intense red eye and a funny red mantle at the top of the bill. I lucked out with this shot as I caught the coot with a muddy water droplet hanging from the tip of its bill. People often ask me how I capture images with perfectly situated water droplets and I have to admit that it is almost always by accident.

The third image was a late entry which resulted from Joyce’s weekly editing of my post. She put in a request for an image of a coot’s feet as she finds coot feet to be one of the coolest things in nature. If you like the image, you can thank Joyce. I made this flight image of a coot at Riverlands, by the way, so it is apropos to this edition.


I hope you enjoy these waterfowl images and if you are near the Riverlands this fall and through the rest of the year, drop by the Audubon Center and take a look at my exhibit. I promise that it also will feature photos of more typical waterfowl such as mallards and pintails.

Thanks for looking,



Watch for my image “Woodie in a Sycamore” on the January page of the 2014 Ducks Unlimited Calendar.

The Missouri Department of Conservation 2014 Natural Events Calendar is on sale now at the MDC Nature Shop. Get yours soon as they don’t last long. This year’s calendar features 13 of my favorite photos from my recent shooting expeditions in Missouri.

16 comments on “Focus on Waterfowl (Audubon Center at Riverlands)”

  1. I’m hoping I’ll be able to come over and see the show.

  2. Wonderful images again. Those coot’s feet are interesting.

  3. Those feet are remarkable, so thank Joyce for the fascinating photo. I’ve never seen a coot, so it’s intriguing to see a water bird that doesn’t have webbed toes. The bird is flying up? I think I see water droplets falling below, or is my screen dusty as usual? That you caught the bird in an unfolding egg-shape makes the image surreal. No, that’s not exactly the right word; I think it’s something like visual poetry where one is surprised that a few simple words can mean more than they say.

    I think your Riverside event (congratulations!) is near where my brother lives so I’ll forward this info to him. It might be just the sort of exhibit he’d enjoy. Are the photos in the MDC calendar all yours? I’m getting a few!

    • Hi Tess,

      The coot was on its way to land as I remember. I enjoyed your thoughts on its poetic pose in the sky. The MDC calendar has many photographs by other photographers; it is always a joy to have on your wall because there is information in the square for each day that talks about animals and plants, breeding times, emerging times, habits, etc. It is very addictive. Take care!

  4. Ordered my calendar

  5. I love your work, Danny. The American Coot is always fun to see. I have never seen their feet before either. So, thanks for sharing that. Congrats on your exhibit at the Riverlands and also all your photos in the 2014 MDC Natural Events Calendar. I can’t wait to see my Great Horned Owl on the opening spread page, along with all your other images throughout the calendar.

  6. Danny, congrats on the woodie photo in the 2014 Ducks Unlimited Calendar. I’m guessing that’s considered really big time when you get a photo selected for the DU calendar. Thanks for the info about Jim Brandenburg. I checked out his prairie gallery on his website…..really nice images.


    • You are welcome Phil. Mark Haas was impressed by your images in his new calendar, by the way.

  7. Hi Danny, I hope that your art show was a big success. I have been on the road again up in Iowa all last week. I loved the feet on the American Coot. Tell Joyce thanks, for the great pick.


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