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Cinnamon Teal (Anas cyanoptera), pair of adults

Posted by
Julie L. Brown, Photobirder (Indianapolis, Indiana, United States) on 17 January 2013 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

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Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve
Henderson, Nevada 10-12-12

Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve Series, October 2012 Click here to view a larger version of this image.

Last October, I flew to Las Vegas, Nevada and drove up to Springdale, Utah to participate in a landscape photo workshop at Zion National Park. I added an extra day to my itinerary for bird photography, and was rewarded with two delightful visits to one of the best birding spots in southern Nevada. Located on the southeast perimeter of Las Vegas, the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve is an oasis in the desert. It was created from former sewage treatment ponds (they now contain reclaimed water) for the city of Henderson. Water is a huge attraction for birds in a dry climate-especially for migrants-since this place is on the Pacific Flyway .

The Cinnamon Teal is a small blue-winged dabbling duck that filters mud with its bill. Females are described as "Gray-brown overall, with small white area at base of bill. Bill dark. Light-blue upper wing patch with narrow white border. Back of wing mostly brown, with little green." Males in basic (eclipse) plumage are "Gray-brown overall, with rusty wash. Small white area at base of bill. Eyes red."

Duck groups and identification: I saw many ducks at the HBVP, but the differences between the species (especially females) are not readily apparent to me. Looking through field guides and photos can be both helpful and frustrating. What I really need is more experience in the field! As I have learned from various sources on the internet, ducks are divided into two major groups by their anatomical adaptations and feeding behavior-the dabbling ducks vs diving ducks : Diving ducks, or "divers," are ducks that propel themselves underwater with large feet attached to short legs situated far back on the body. "Dabblers," in contrast, have smaller feet and their legs are situated farther forward. While a few dabblers may occasionally dive to feed or to escape predators, typically they skim food from the surface or feed in the shallows by tipping forward to submerge their heads and necks. The table below lists the North American ducks generally included in the groups dabblers and divers. We have also listed a substantial group of species that dive after their food, but often are not meant when one refers to divers. Note that many of the ducks that dive also dabble. Although the Wood Duck (not listed) dabbles and shares with the dabblers the ability to take-off vertically, it is not ordinarily included in the dabblers."

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Canon EOS 5D Mark II 1/1250 second F/8.0 ISO 800 600 mm

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This photoblog is my nature journal and travelogue. Many of my wildlife images were made in environments impacted by humans. My goal is to feature each animal in a way that allows the viewer to sense the essence of its life in the wild. The purpose of the accompanying narratives is to enhance awareness and appreciation of our natural world, as well as to inspire everyone to protect and care for it.

Focales from Rhône-Alpes, France

Perfect capture, light, colors and... ducks !

17 Jan 2013 6:32am

michel creze from le havre, France

Belle capture du couple !

Beautiful capture of the couple!

17 Jan 2013 9:23am

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Ah! voilà le couple!!! Superbe image. Belle journée.

17 Jan 2013 10:05am

Lougris from Toulouse, France

ils sont superbes ces deux la !! belles couleurs !

17 Jan 2013 10:48am

Antoine from France

Great capture and nice colours. Have a lovely day Julie. Amicalement Antoine.

17 Jan 2013 11:17am

outsidersworld from everywhere, Germany

Fantastic lighting including water reflections in the overall view. I liked the slight movement of water, shadows, colors and clear details. Very beautiful ducks. I like you blog.

17 Jan 2013 12:27pm

Denny Jump Photo from Easton, PA, United States

And if they like mud, they are certainly in the right place...beautiful waterfowl here, Julie.....Their name is so close to the phrase "Cinnamon Tea" I wonder if they imbibe? I love those red eyes!

17 Jan 2013 5:52pm

@Denny Jump Photo: The red eyes are a key ID factor for me. Thanks, Denny.

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A lovely photo of this pair.

17 Jan 2013 6:31pm

Akbar&Armaghan from Gorgan, Iran

Very nice photo

17 Jan 2013 6:33pm

Patrick M. from Lille, France

beautiful duck

17 Jan 2013 7:13pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

I have learned so much about birds from your blog. I can see why they are called cinnamon! Lovely

17 Jan 2013 8:03pm

@Ruthiebear: Thank you, Ruthie. Photography is how I learn about birds, because I study the images so much. Glad to know that I can share this with you.

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

Super looking birds, love the warm colour

17 Jan 2013 8:06pm

Anita from West Nottingham, Pennsylvania, United States

These are beautiful ducks

17 Jan 2013 8:21pm

@Anita: They are-the male in breeding plumage is spectacular. It was fun to see species other than the common Mallards.

Jackie from Montréal, Canada

They are really beautiful! Gorgeous plumage color!

18 Jan 2013 12:06am

@Jackie: Thanks, Jackie. Someday I hope to see a male in full breeding colors.

LauraS from Chico, United States

Really beautiful birds and colors.

18 Jan 2013 3:27am

@LauraS: thank you, Laura.

This image has been featured in 1 Remix collection.

Beautiful Birds by Ruthiebear

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
1/1250 second
ISO 800
600 mm