Tufted ducks Habitat
With their bold, black & white plumage and piercing gold eyes, tufted ducks are striking subjects to capture over the winter months
Tufted ducks are widespread, and as such are often neglected as photographic subjects, overshadowed by other species. However, with their contrasting black & white plumage and piercing golden eyes, they can look very striking. Being so common also has its advantages: they are not difficult to spot, and you should be able to find some near you. I’ve photographed tufted ducks all over the place, from out in the countryside miles from any sort of settlement, to small ponds in London. Most open water bodies should hold them, but look for one where you can get to water level, as the resulting shots will be more intimate.
Best time to shoot
Winter is a good time to photograph these birds, as birds from Iceland and northern Europe boost their population. Early in the morning or late afternoon ( just before sunset) are the best times to photograph as bird activity is much higher, and if the sun is out, the quality of light is much better due to its lower angle. Shooting at these times also gives you the opportunity to experiment with photographing into the light to get silhouettes, something that can be very effective in certain situations.
Birds prefer to land into the wind, so position yourself accordingly
Position yourself at water level to capture more intimate and engaging shots
Capture a silhouette for a striking image of a tufted duck
Shoot just above the water level for beautiful blur