Monday, March 21, 2011

Preening shoveler drake, Radio Road Ponds

Preening northern shoveler - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Three poses of this handsome northern shoveler drake preening. There was plenty of posturing between males when a female would swim by, so I'm sure he wanted to look his best.

Tail feathers - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Preening shots can be really interesting since they show off the bird in a different light than just when it's posing, and for shovelers, it can really highlight the pretty colors they have on their wings. I liked how he had the tail feathers splayed out in the above shot, and his eye is just barely visible in the bottom one has he combs through his wing.

Preening shoveler drake - Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography


  1. Pat, I admire your ability to get close to birds without disturbing them. It's not easy.

  2. He most certainly is quite the handsome fellow. Gorgeous iridescent feathers. Outstanding images!

  3. Awesome shots Pat. Shovelers are gorgeous birds and you did an incredible with the light you had!

  4. Thanks, Jim! It's definitely not easy, especially since I don't like to flush birds multiple times. But this time it was easy -- there's a spot at Radio Road that the birds love right by the edge (some shallow underwater perches), so I just plopped down there and waited for them to come to me.

    Thanks, Kah-Wai!

    Thanks, Julie!

    Thanks, Ryan! It was leading up to a big rainstorm when I took these shots, so some that I haven't shared are seriously dreary, but in these the purple storm clouds were reflecting nicely on the water.