Brookhaven, GA, February 27, 2017 – Commentary by Trey Benton – Starting off the week it’s a bit chilly outside, but judging by the Mallards at Brookhaven’s Murphey Candler Park Lake, Spring is in the air and the Ducks are pairing up to multiply. I have always had a fondness for photography and for birds, and since Ducks tolerate being the center of attention and usually easy to find, I headed out to the lake during the “golden hour” to snap a few.
The golden hour is a period of time described as shortly after sunrise or just before sunset during which daylight is redder and softer than when the Sun is higher in the sky. I prefer just before sunset at Murphey Candler Lake because of the direction of the light this time of year.
When I went to the Park yesterday, I was surprised by the number of people fishing. No one seemed to be catching anything, but they looked like they were having a good time and a few laughs. In the parlance of our times, hanging out on the banks of a lake with a fishing pole or a camera in your hand sure is a lot more relaxing than some of the other options out there.
So back to the Ducks….
According to the National Audubon Society, Mallards are the most familiar wild duck and easily found over most of the Northern Hemisphere. Most often, they can be found floating around ponds, marshes, streams, and lakes. They feed on plants, invertebrates, fish and insects.
The male Mallard Duck is called a Drake, and has a glossy green head, a white ring around its neck and a brown breast. Depending on the light, his head can appear blue as well. The Female Mallard Duck sports white and brown feathers with a splash of blue along her wings.
A Female Mallard may lay up to a dozen eggs and nests on the ground near a pond or other natural water source where they can swim around, in a nest lined with warm down plucked from her undercoat. A couple of days after hatching, ducklings can run, swim, and forage for food on their own.
Here are some photos shot yesterday at the park.