Seven little ducklings were lovingly raised by the dedicated staff of St. Francis Wildlife in Tallahassee, FL during the summer of 2016. I picked them up at St. Francis on the day of this video, and at first they were just going to send six of them home with me and keep the 7th one – a female – since something had just happened to her flight feathers and they were afraid that she would be an easy target for a predator. We decided that she’d be better off with her peeps than alone in her flight cage at St. Francis, so we caught her and packed her up for her final time in a crate. When I got them home I took the big tub to the water’s edge, and very gently rolled it on it’s side so that when I opened the hinged lid that they would hopefully file out together, and not explode out, flying in every direction, which I unfortunately learned in a previous release. Everything went as planned and they slowly swam out in wide-eyed wonderment in their new home. The first 25s or so was videoed right after they were released, and the last clip was shot later that afternoon as they met the eight three-month old Black-bellied Whistling Duck juveniles who are the terror of the swamp. Ironically, the little raggedy hen who almost didn’t get to taste freedom was the one who chased off the Whistling duck, and flapped at the end. They’ve been here a month now and all seven are doing fine. “Raggedy’s” feathers are growing back, and her short flights are getting longer each day. She and a somewhat raggedy drake have really bonded (you can see them together at :42), and I’m so glad they are all together.
This video was shot in 4K with a Panasonic GH4 + Nikon 300mm f2.8 ED IF ais lens using manual focus.
For best results, go over to the Vimeo site and put it on full screen and 4K high definition.