Tip #31. Watch for unusual behaviors

Tip #31. Watch for unusual behaviors

I am fortunate to have a photographer friend outside Minneapolis that lets me use his blind on the edge of a large slough. A few days ago while photographing from the blind, I saw these two Wood Ducks preening each other. Although I have seen males and females preen each other, it was the first opportunity I had to watch to two males preen each other. Preening is a bird’s way of grooming its feathers to keep them in the best condition. While preening, birds will remove dust, dirt and parasites from their feathers and align each feather in the optimum position relative to adjacent feathers and body shape. The Wood Duck is one of only a few American ducks that can perch and nest in trees. They will also use man-made nesting boxes in areas where tree cavities are scarce. They tend to build their nests within one mile of a lake shore, river bank, or other body of water.