Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in a stylish geometry of light



Meet Dendrogygna autumnalis the Black-Bellied Whistling Duck! I will confess to neglecting this species even though I see them all the time at various wetland environments here in Florida. Although, these are not the first images I have taken of them, just the first posted. Also, I normally do not like’ looking down’ views of birds from a boardwalk preferring more straight on views at the same level. However, the same reason I took them is the same reason I have posted them. I liked the geometry of the parallel and perpendicular light that illuminated the dark water from between the boards of the deck. The blue water, green plants, and autumnal colors of the duck contrasted nicely and looked rather stylish with the light. I took images looking both directions trying to figure which light angle the camera liked best or maybe which way I was more comfortable leaning over the railing.  The little whitish strands in the field of blue are plants on the bottom of the shallow water showing through. I gave a black and white version with the one with horizontal and vertical light to play with the light and textures in the scene a bit.

While I do not actually know yet with this species, often scientific names reflect the appearance of an animal or plant. Considering these ducks are year round residents of Florida, I am leaning towards autumnalis making sense with the fall colors of the duck rather than its season.










~ by Judy on June 30, 2019.

15 Responses to “Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks in a stylish geometry of light”

  1. These are fantastic compositions. Dynamic, as one of my art tutors liked to say. And the contrast in colours adds oodles to it.

  2. Absolutely beautiful. Your work is awesome….. Fred


    • Oh thank you sincerely! Sometimes the ordinary thing we skip over for the seemingly dramatic thing. There is interest in just about everything when you are out in nature. Having a camera helps as you do see things in a different way through a viewfinder. Thanks for a wonderful comment.

  3. Your photos taken from above them are unique, making the color of their bills really stand out! It’s too bad we don’t get to see these handsome ducks in New Jersey.

    • I like the geometry of it but I do think you are right about those bills…they really make the whole thing pop with the color contrasts. I should pay more attention to ducks probably. 🙂

  4. Gorgeous!

  5. We have two species here: both the black-bellied and the fulvous whistling ducks. I see them often, and have quite a few photos of them with young. While they nest predominantly in trees (at least, as I understand it) I’ve seen them in piles of old cane along our sloughs, as well. They’re non-migratory, and great fun to watch. As I’ve understood it, the specific epithet refers to their tendency to move through recently harvested fields, taking leftover grain and or insects brought up by fall plowing.

    I like the depth in your photos: so many layers of duck, duckweed, reflection, and underwater detail. I never would have thought of shooting straight downward, but it’s very effective. I like the second colored photo the best, partly because the reflected light on the duck’s bill in the first seems a little distracting to me — but that’s in the realm of personal preference.

    • LOL! The realm of personal preference gets me too! If I see a thing that bothers me I am hard-pressed to leave it there. I did not notice the lightness of the blue part of the bill in that picture. But, now that its seen it cannot be unseen!! On two of the duck images there was spot of light on the back. I was going to ignore it but it wasn’t the kind of spot that looked attractive or added to the light in a nice way so it got under my skin and I nixed the spot. One of the images the angle of light or camera was such it didn’t appear. One of my recent Great Blue Heron pictures..the one on the fern branch…had a fishing line draped off the tree. I felt it took away from my natural scene so while its on the WP post, when I prepared it and another in the series for Alamy and possible printing I got rid of it. Was gonna leave it, not THAT noticeable, but couldn’t do it in the end. Tried to convince myself it was a vine, but nah not.

  6. The first one is indeed a quite striking picture.

  7. It is so easy for some of us (okay, me) to walk by something that may be “ordinary” (for birders, think House Sparrow, Boat-tailed Grackle and even, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck) as we rush off in pursuit of the extraordinary.

    Thank you, Judy, for taking the time to demonstrate the reality of the adage “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”!

    • Yeah I do know that we all tend to gravitate towards the most elegant or exotic things. I took some pictures of the boat-tailed grackle even thought many consider them a nuisance bird. But, out in the wetland areas where they have a background of lovely yellow greens, that iridescence is just brilliant. Even Audubon was fascinated with the beauty of the common bird.

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