Readers’ wildlife videos

Tara Tanaka has a new video, which took her 18 hours to edit. But it’s worth it, at least to us, because it’s lovely and it shows DUCKS! Be sure to click on the video and put it on full screen. Her notes:

Canvasbacks  [Aythya valisineria] are one of my favorite ducks, and on this winter morning at St. Marks NWR I shot video of two individuals until I couldn’t shoot anymore. The most challenging part was keeping focused on the swirls and bubbles to determine where I thought he would surface so he’d be in the frame and in focus with the very narrow DOF of my digiscoping system.

All of the Canvasback footage was digiscoped with the GH5 in 4K using manual focus; the first two clips were using my Nikon 300mm f2.8 lens.


  1. John S
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Love to see a slo-mo of a duck (any duck) re-folding his/her wings with that sorta iteration of left & right wings until they are just right.

    Wondrous pix, of course. Thank you!

    • Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Thank you John! It’s great to be able to share this beauty with others who appreciate it. No humans have been able to observe nature in slow-motion until the very recent advent of this technology – we are incredibly fortunate.

  2. Debbie Coplan
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    That was really a gorgeous video. Nice to see the such detail on that beautiful duck.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Damn, def doesn’t get any higher than that. Beautiful.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Up there with BBC wildlife progs, but better music. Great stuff TT!

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Canvasback – I see it!

    What is that, when ducks look like just ducks, but then someone says “hey, these are CANVASBACK ducks!” and I all of a sudden can notice them, the Baader-Meinhoff effect?

    • Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      I think that when you see wildlife so close, that you relate to it in a way you don’t if you can’t see their expressions and moods.

  6. Brad
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Concur. Beyond excellent videography and editing! Music is outstanding, as well. Thank you, Tara, for sharing your talents.

    • Posted January 31, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much Brad! I really appreciate your very kind comments!

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Wow, that was mesmorizing. Thank you for the tremendous effort that it took, and for sharing this with us.
    Really have a better appreciation of ‘like water off a duck’s back’.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink


      Named after a Mr. Mesmer.

      Some sort of hypnotist from the 19th c. I think.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 31, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      “Really have a better appreciation of ‘like water off a duck’s back.'” Indeed!

      • Posted January 31, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Jerry made a similar comment when he saw the video. Oiling their feathers takes up a significant part of their time in order to keep their waterproofing up to snuff!

  8. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for taking and sharing your wonderful video with us. I especially enjoyed the water droplets on the duck’s back —what amazing focus—, the music and the ending as it ‘disappears’.

    • Posted January 31, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Barbara for letting me know the parts you really liked. There’s a moment when a drop of water runs down the duck’s neck, and I slowed it down to 50% speed just to emphasize it.

  9. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful video, and what a beautiful duck! Outstanding!

  10. Posted January 31, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Masterful. Eighteen hours to edit! At least in the digital age the cutting room floor is less messy. 🙂

    • Posted January 31, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Thanks! Amazing how messy the rest of my office got in those two days though – I’m creating order out of it now!

  11. rickflick
    Posted February 10, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Love it. The ducks are the comedians of the bird world. Thanks for keeping that focus sharp.

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