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Photographer's Note

This is one of the eight ducklings of which four were shown in this photo, only now they're 10 days older. They're growing fast, but they're also eating like Garfield, if they get half a chance ;-)) It's impossible to get a photo of one eating, simply because I need both hands for the camera, and after throwing the bread it's gone so fast, I don't have the time to get a proper grip on the camera with both hands before the bread thrown is gone completely. I shall need to ally myself with someone who can throw the bread while I keep the camera ready..
Today they weren't on the lake, they were in the canal, down a fairly steep bank, so I had to point the camera downwards to take their photos. Also, there was no sun when this photo was taken, so I had to go down to 1/400, which was on the low side for freezing the action. This one was doing preparative flight practice, or so it seemed, anyway.
Notice the flight feathers growing out of the quill barrels. These barrels grow out initially filled with blood. The blood is then used as nourishment for the feather growing inside the barrel. Small feathers don't pop out of the barrels until they're almost fully formed, but larger feathers for wings and tails will start inside the barrels and then continue growing out of them also after they've burst open. When the feathers are fully formed, the barrels disintegrate and fall off. The wing feathers on the duckling in this photo need to grow quite a lot yet, but 10 days ago the wing feathers were only just starting to grow, so they're getting there in leaps and bounds. I sure hope I get a chance to witness it when they start flight practice for real ;-))
Treatment: Auto-enhance (as the photo was fairly dark), USM and resize.

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Additional Photos by Bente Feldballe (milloup) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 608 W: 65 N: 329] (1829)
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