Black-bellied Whistling Duck

As we turned around the corner, on our way back to the pond, Hawkeye yelled, “Bird!” My head swerved just in time to see a black-bellied whistling duck. Only Hawkeye and I saw it. But as we walked around the freezing pond the little whistler came around near us. It was strange to see one walking all alone.

Usually they stay together in groups of twenty, crowding you and whistling for bread. But this one was all alone.

Blurry Whistler.
A Blurry Whistler.

Later, when we got into the car though, twenty more flew in. And it just might not be a coincidence. They say Texas is the best place in the U.S. to see black-bellied whistling ducks, but we have not seen them since that day. Could they be avoiding us? Could these ducks be smarter than we think? Or… could all ducks be smarter than we think?

Maybe not. But it took some brains to figure out how to photograph the next few ducks.