An Elegant Duck

The first time I ever photographed a Northern Pintail I remember thinking to myself, “My God, that’s what Mr. Mallard would look like in a Tux.” It is, quite simply, an ELEGANT duck.

You can imagine my shock, then, when I realized that Pintails feed not in pristine lake waters but in grubby marshy areas.

The first time I saw a Pintail wading in the mud I wanted to yell, “Get out of there, you’re going to ruin your beautiful suit.”

Turns out that some of the most beautiful ducks spend much of their time wallowing in muddy tide flats. The number of beautiful male Green-Winged Teals

have exploded at Theler Wetlands since they breached the dike.

They run around the wetlands busily ”filtering mud with bill, up-ending, or picking items from water’s surface.”