Last Year’s Fledging a 5-Minute Celebrity!

As they sweltered through a second day of the direct sun, heat and humidity, Olivia provided her little ones with as much shade as she could by spreading her wings for both to sit under, which they eagerly did.  She also would leave the nest and dive down towards the water, skipping along while dragging her feet to get a nice cooling-off.   Then she returned quickly and repositioned over the chicks to let them also get a little cooling off themselves while she dripped and even reclined some on them.  It’s amazing what these birds know and do for each other!

Jumping to this day’s blog title, I wanted to share a couple of photos that I entered into the Chesapeake Bay Magazine’s annual photo contest that published in this June’s issue.  The first being the blog title, last season I captured a photo of one of our two chicks during his first weeks of flying.   He won Honorable Mention in the Wildlife Category!  🙂

It was in the mid to upper 90’s and this chick decided he needed to cool off.  He flew to the rocky berm below for a brief rest and then flew directly into the water and immersed himself.  Then with a thrust up, he was out of the water and soaring up and landing back on the nest, looking like he felt much better!

The second photo is another 5-minute fame for me.  This one (which I’ve had posted in the Mallards & Ducklings folder in the photo gallery tab at top) is a baby mallard, less than 14 hours old, born over at Red Eye’s Dock Bar under a palm tree the middle of June last year.  I visited that nest every morning and every evening, trying to be there at the right moment, because once all the chicks have hatched, momma will have them in the water and gone from the nest permanently. As luck would have it, I was there!  Here’s my entered shot, which won First Place in the Wildlife Category.  🙂

Now that is one cute baby duck!  Notice the small tip on his beak which he used to break himself out of his egg.  It falls off usually within 24 hours of birth.

For a look at the magazine”s complete photo contest winners and listing of their “Best of the Bay” winners, click here.

Thanks for letting myself and our last year’s fledging share our 5-minutes of fame with you! 

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