Friday, December 28, 2012

Carl Kurtz's Photo Essay: Taking Off

In preparation for the upcoming second edition of A Practical Guide to Prairie Restoration by Carl Kurtz, we're excited to be sharing Carl's beautiful photos and observations about nature!

Carl Kurtz is a professional writer, teacher, naturalist, and photographer. He and his wife and partner, Linda, live on a 172-acre family farm in central Iowa that is one of the few prairie seed sources in the Midwest.

Mallards are called dabblers and feed by dipping their heads down under water. They are omnivorous, feeding on insects above and below water, and also consume seeds, grain and green vegetation.  Their take off is abrupt as they arise directly up and out of the water, unlike coots, grebes or loons who need a running start to get airborne.  Wild mallards such as this drake are extremely difficult to approach, while city mallards in urban areas readily accept a handout.