On a recent visit to Cape May Point State Park in search of an elusive Purple Gallinule I did not find my quarry but I did find quite a few photogenic birds.  One of them or, rather, several of them, were Gadwall – a pile of ducklings with their mother.  I am used to seeing young Gadwall at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, sometimes under less-than-ideal circumstances, but I rarely get a chance to see an entire brood of ducklings close enough to get some pictures.  They are not in enough habitat types to be considered one of the usual waterfowl though I am used to seeing them.

Anas strepera is a common and widespread duck, breeding across northern Europe and Asia, as well as central North America.  Here in New York, as on most of the east coast of the United States, Gadwall are a year-round bird, breeding in appropriate marsh habitat.  Gadwall are, according to BirdLife International, a Species of Least Concern because of its huge range and population, though its worldwide population trend is unknown.

And Gadwall ducklings are CUTE!  Enjoy!

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.