This was a surprise for me and an even bigger one for the juvenile Mallard Duck. I was shooting photos of this duck when I noticed a little duckling swimming away from it’s mother and toward him. The duckling was coming in behind him and I got the camera ready and zoomed in as I expected some kind of interaction between them that could make for an interesting shot. Turned out, that was an understatement! The big duck apparently wasn’t aware of the little one approaching and when the duckling got close to him, it reached out and plucked a tail feather! Fortunately I had already started shooting because the big duck let out a scream and went straight up in the air 4 - 5 ft :scream: I caught him on the way up in this shot!

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback is always appreciated.

Technical Details

Sony a6500, FE100400GM @ 400 mm., ISO-400, f/5.6, 1/3200, hand held. I cropped this to a square because it put more focus on the action and both sides were just watery dead space.


Fantastic!! Anticipation paid off! I love the pose and the fact that the cause of the action is semi-camouflaged by the splash, to be discovered with a close look. Wonderful sharpness and detail!

Excellent, Gary! Everybody involved except the little one got surprised. The stopped action with all of the flying water looks great.

Gary, you did a much better job getting a surprise shot then I did with the red fox. :smile: This is a wonderful image. I love your story too. The water droplets and pose you caught really makes this image work. The little duckling is a bonus. The colors of the Mallard against your BG also work well together. I will always remember to reset my 100-400mm lens back to f 5.6. Great job!!

Mark; actually the duckling got a big surprise also when the big duck exploded into the air :scream: