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Yours truly

The  Mallard  Family  Goes  Out  for  Dinner

(Anas platyrhychos)

and then they come home again

    The mallard is the most common duck species in our San Francisco Bay area. Why this mom has only 4 kids and so late in the season is not clear. Perhaps the Corte Madera marsh is not a safe place for raising ducklings. Certainly she was very attentive during their outing and kept up a constant chatter.

    Adult mallards are about 20-28 inches long with a wing span of 30-40 inches; males are larger. Their diet is largely aquatic vegetation and seeds that fall into the water but they will also eat snails, tadpoles, and fish eggs. (From JK Terres: The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds.)

These images were captured with a Canon 10D digital camera and Canon 70-200 mm f/2.8L IS zoom lens at approximately 135 mm zoom. The ISO speed was set at 400 because the light was beginning to drop rapidly (about 7:40 PM) and both autofocusing and image stabilization were turned on.

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