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Many say that Muscovy Ducks are very friendly and indeed there are those that keep them as pets. My experience last Wednesday gave me a different feeling towards these feral birds. I was visiting Irvin Pitts park in Ware Shoals. There was a skittish pair of Mallards keeping their distance from me. There was also a Great Blue Heron poised in the distance and several smaller song birds flittering about. Also, as soon as I exited my truck I was greeted by several Muscovys. They wandered aimlessly about as I set up my tripod.
After a short time had passed, a male duck was chased away from his female companion and the aggressor forcibly had his way with her. Interesting and perfectly natural behavior. It wasn’t until a couple of hours later when three males and a female showed their aggression towards me (heehee). These little buggers actually thought they were going to take me on. Anyway I persuaded them to leave me and once again settled down behind my tripod. Well, I guess they were still wound up because one of the more animated males started to beat up on another male.
For the next 8 to 10 minutes this bully pummeled the other bird, first on shore and them in the water. Once he chased his victim into the river he really went to town on him. I think he was trying to hold him under the water but I don’t know. Beaks, feet and wings were ferociously flying and it seemed as though the instigator did not want to let up.
When it was all over the dominator circled around me and sat down in some grass. The loser swam to a rock in the center of the river and started to care for himself. He never left that rock as long as I was there. I suspect that he broke a wing in the fight but I can not confirm that.
After an embarrassingly long absence, I have returned. I’ve had many things going on in my life that kept me away. Now, I am back once again. I will start slowly with only sporadic postings and eventually increase to . . . well . . . whatever level I decide upon. I will also be experimenting with format changes for a while. Well . . . change is good, right?
Canon EOS 7D, 8 sec @ f/11, ISO 400
I took this shot Tuesday night. It was my first attempt at night photography. Tried to shoot the front of my house. Obviously, a little more experience with this after dark shooting couldn’t hurt me. At any rate, this nighttime stuff could be a fun ongoing project. Perhaps more to come.