Picturesque Landscape for Waterfowl to Survive Winter


whole grain food

Mallard Ducks depend on Wetlands, like Cootes Paradise Marsh, and their associated upland habitat to survive. Unfortunately in Canada some areas have reduced Wetlands by 70%. But in Hamilton Region we are fortunate to have Cootes Paradise Marsh Wetland. Like other Waterfowl , Mallards use different habitats for breeding and wintering. Mallards tend to leave the wintering areas early to reach breeding grounds, usually taking off in February and March. Although, we have observed maybe to climate change, but Mallards in Hamilton Harbour tended to stay the winter. All Waterfowl – Ducks, Geese- have a unique blood flowing system, the warm blood from the Heart meets cold blood from the Feet and combines to create a flow that feeds the feet to keep them alive. Although they have nerves in the legs and feet, scales and sinew, but they are still fed from the blood supply and without this their feet would die. Ducks have large outer oily feathers and downy under layers of feathers. The downy feathers are oiled from the back end of the Duck when it secretes the oil from the preening gland. Downy feathers trap the Ducks warm body heat and retain it close to their bodies and the outer layer of feathers prevent it from loosing heat as much as possible. How do Mallard Ducks feed ? Mallards are dabbling ducks, meaning they do not dive underwater for their food, but feed at or just below the surface. They are well adapted to eating both natural and “domestic” foods such as waster grain from harvests. Most of their diet is made up of plants, such as wetland plants and grains – wheat, barley, rice and oats. On occasion Mallards will eat animals foods, in coastal areas they have been known to eat mussels. In other areas, Mallards have been observed eating insects and other invertebrates.

Slippery when wet

Very hungry waterfowl

Within the Wetland Landscape Waterfowl survive in winter, is the essence of Canadian majesty, aesthetically beautiful. A Landscape can’t help but bring you into the moment. These Landscapes photographed from Cootes Paradise conjure images of seasonal change from Winter to Spring. But, a landscape is simply an area of land that is heterogeneous (dissimilar) in one aspect, such as land type or elevation. Digital Landscape Photographers follow in the footsteps of Ansel Adams (1902 – 1984). He was the pioneer of Landscape Photography. His black-and-white icon views of American National Parks are image legacies. Another photographic technique was Cibachrome for fine artlike prints that were almost “luminescent.” Ansel Adams was (1) a visionary of American Art (including Photographic Art), (2) the Pioneer of Technique, (3) Theoretician, and , (4) In the craft of photography he was a Great Teacher. Timing and opportunity play a big apart in Landscape Photography.



eight degrees

Landscape Ecology occurs at a variety of scales, so that a “Landscape” may encompass a region composed of multiple ecosystems. Landscape Ecology as a science examines the appearance and patterns of the land as a result of the interactions with its ecosystems. Landscape Ecology is closely related to Geography because it stresses spatial patterns or patterns over an expanse of land. It also answers questions , such as, How do Ducks breed in wetlands ? Why do Ducks need wetlands to survive ? Landscape Ecologists use a wide variety to discuss the patterns that they try to analyze: (a) Configuration (the arrangement of elements); (b) Connectivity (continuity of a habitat across a Landscape), (c) Fragmentation (the break-up of a Landscape in the patches or spots), and, (d) Path (an area that differs in some way from the surrounding landscape). Landscape Photography comes under three styles: (1) Representational – what you see is what you get. This is a straight descriptive style and the results in the photos show scenery at its most natural and realistic light with no visual manipulations. Here, the photographer pays great attention to (a) composition, (be) detail, (co) light, (do) timing, and, (a) weather, all critical elements in Landscape Photography. (2) Impressionistic is where photographic images have vague or elusive qualities. The viewer is given the impression of a landscape that is rather vague than a clear view. (3) Abstract or graphic style as components of scenery are treated as graphic elements arranged for compositional value. In the Natural Elements of Abstract Landscape Photography are shape and form, comparison, silhouettes and design. In Hamilton Region we can consider ourselves fortunate to have Cootes Paradise Marsh Wetland with spectacular Landscape Scenery that Waterfowl – Ducks, Geese, Swans, can survive winter. These mid-February photographs are evidence that Winter is soon leaving as the season is turning to Spring. But, until then, the Waterfowl at Hamilton Harbour and Cootes Paradise require some feedings of grains.

well fed gulls

Mild February day

Source: Ducks Unlimited, web

By Jacqueline

Hello, As site coordinator and photographer of these images, It is important for us to treat Mother Nature with great respect.

These mid-February photographs are evidence of the delicate changes in Weather patterns “Global warming” and our need to preserve the Wetlands.

Doug Worrall

Source: Ducks Unlimited


Photographer Doug Worrall


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