Do Ducks Sleep?

Yes, ducks do sleep, just like most other animals. Ducks are diurnal, which means they are active during the day and typically rest or sleep during the night. They often find a safe spot near water to rest and sleep, as this provides them with protection from potential predators.

Ducks, like many birds, have a unique way of sleeping. They often rest one hemisphere of their brain at a time, allowing the other hemisphere to remain alert for potential threats. This is known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep and is a survival strategy for many birds and marine mammals that need to remain vigilant while resting. Ducks also have a tendency to sleep with one eye open, and they can rotate their heads to keep an eye on their surroundings while they rest.

So, while ducks do sleep, they do so in a way that allows them to maintain some level of awareness of their environment to ensure their safety.

Nikon D 850 with a Nikon 500mm pf Lens

Latest Fall 2023 Photos

American Robins Migrating

I know where the berry trees are in my area. Every few days I will drive around and check to see if the robins have arrived. This year mid-October they started to arrive. They will stay for a while until the berries are gone or the weather turns nasty.

The photos to the right were difficult for a simple reason. The birds were always close to the background and even with F 5.6 on my lens there was little depth of field. I did get a few photos with a clear background.

UPDATE:  We had our first snowfall this fall. So I went back the the tree to photograph the Robins in the snow.

Nikon D 850 with a Nikon 500mm pf lens

The American robin (Turdus migratorius) is a migratory songbird found throughout North America. These birds are well-known for their seasonal migrations, where they travel between their breeding grounds in the northern parts of North America and their wintering grounds in the southern regions. Here's some information about the American robin's migration:

Seasonal Migration: American robins are considered short-distance migrants. They don't migrate vast distances like some other bird species, but they do exhibit a significant north-south movement.

Winter Migration: In the fall, as temperatures drop and food becomes scarcer in the northern parts of their range, American robins begin their southward migration. They move to regions with milder winter conditions, where they can find more abundant food sources.

Winter Range: During the winter months, American robins can be found in various parts of the United States, Mexico, and even southern Canada, depending on the specific region and climate. They are particularly common in urban and suburban areas where they can find fruit-bearing trees and shrubs.

Migratory Behavior: American robins migrate during the day, often in loose flocks. They rely on visual cues and landmarks for navigation during their migration. While they are in transit, they can often be seen foraging for food in open fields and other suitable habitats.

Altitude and Speed: American robins typically migrate at low to moderate altitudes, and their migratory speed is not exceptionally fast. They can cover considerable distances during their migration, and the timing of their migration is influenced by the local climate and the availability of food.

Stopovers:  During their migration, American robins make stopovers to rest and refuel. They feed on a variety of foods, including berries, fruit, and insects, which help them replenish their energy for the journey. The timing of the American robin's migration can vary depending on the specific location and local climate conditions. In some regions, you may see robins returning as early as late winter, while in others, they might not arrive until early spring. Their migration patterns are closely tied to temperature and food availability, which makes them an excellent indicator of changing seasons in many parts of North America.

Cattle Egret

It is not very often I get to photograph the Great Egret, especially in November in Canada.

I got a message on messenger there were two birds close to where I live. I drove to the address mentioned in the message and found another photographer. After looking through my Binos I spotted the two birds in a field.

As per normal I will not walk on private land. in this case, I was lucky the person who owned the land was in his yard, and without hesitation, he said you are welcome to walk into the field and get a couple of photographs.

So, I proceeded down a trail to get a couple of photos of the Great Egrets. To the left is one of the photos.

I used my D850 with a Nikon 500mm pf lens. It was a long shot but the D 850 has the allowance to crop and still give you a hi-resolution photo.

All  Photographs by David lilly

Winter can be a wonderful time for bird photography, as the snow and unique lighting conditions can add a magical touch to your images. Here are some tips to help you capture stunning winter bird photos:

Choose the Right Gear:

Use a telephoto lens: Birds are often skittish and may not allow you to get too close. A telephoto lens with a focal length of at least 300mm is recommended.

Consider a lens with a wide aperture (low f-stop) for better performance in low-light conditions.

Dress Warmly:
Make sure you are dressed appropriately for the cold weather. This includes warm clothing, gloves, and insulated boots, as winter photography sessions can be long and chilly.

Understand Bird Behavior:
Learn about the behavior of the birds you want to photograph. Understanding their habits can help you anticipate their movements and capture more dynamic shots.

Scout Locations:
Look for areas where birds are likely to gather, such as feeding stations, bodies of water that remain unfrozen, or locations with easily accessible food sources.

Use a Tripod:
In low light conditions, a tripod can help stabilize your camera and prevent camera shake, especially when using slower shutter speeds.
Adjust White Balance:
Snow can fool your camera's auto white balance, resulting in a blue tint. Adjust the white balance settings to compensate for this and keep the snow looking white.

Pay Attention to Lighting:
Winter lighting can be both challenging and beautiful. Early morning and late afternoon light are often warm and provide a pleasing glow. Experiment with different lighting conditions to capture unique images.

Focus on Composition:
Pay attention to composition principles such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing. A well-composed image can make a significant difference in the visual impact of your photograph.

Patience is Key:
Wildlife photography, in general, requires patience. Winter conditions may make it more challenging to find and photograph birds, so be prepared to wait for the right moment.

Camera Settings:
Use a fast shutter speed to freeze bird motion, especially if they are in flight. Adjust your ISO to maintain proper exposure, and consider using aperture priority mode to control the depth of field.

Bring Extra Batteries:
Cold temperatures can affect battery life. Bring extra batteries and keep them warm in an inside pocket to ensure your camera remains powered.

Respect Wildlife:
Always prioritize the well-being of the birds. Keep a safe and respectful distance, and avoid disturbing their natural behavior. Remember that winter conditions can be harsh, so take precautions to keep yourself and your equipment protected. With the right preparation, winter bird photography can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Winter Bird Photography Tips