A familiar sight on the banks of the Yass River is both amateur photographer Tom O’Dea and the now semi-famous Australian Wood Duck family he’s been documenting.

After a recent move from landscapes to wildlife photography due to a camera upgrade, Tom has been updating the community on the status of the ducklings.

“Since I’ve got that telephoto lens I’m pretty much only doing animals now,” Tom said. “Photos that I wouldn’t have dreamed were possible before are now possible because I can get up really close to the subject.”

Being able to take “action shots” has allowed Tom to capture many different feathers of Australia’s native bird fauna yet the Australian Wood Ducks remain a favourite.

“The shots that I’m digging at the moment are the ones with the ducks,” he said. “Amazing to watch them actually growing day by day.”

Tom said he was worried about the ducklings during last week’s storms and flooding. “But I had a big trek around the river and I found them on the other side of the river so yay Mummy and Daddy duck, they did a good job,” he said.

Sadly, one duckling has died leaving eight remaining to waddle around the river.

“I think the first or second day that I saw them there was nine,” Tom said. “Then about a week ago, maybe a little bit longer, we’re down to eight.”

If you’re keen to see some cute ducklings on your walk, then head over to the Yass River. According to Tom, the duck family can usually be found paddling on the right-hand side of the bridge as you head out of town towards the service centre.

Don’t forget that it’s best to not feed ducks bread as it doesn’t contain the right nutrients or calories but makes them feel full, similar to junk food, so they don’t eat the food they actually need.

Instead, it’s recommended to feed ducks half-cut seedless grapes, chopped lettuce, birdseed, peas, corn or oats. Although, ducks should only be fed what they can eat so it doesn’t rot and pollute the water, especially when it comes to corn.

By Brianna O’Rourke

Photos: Tom O’Dea – Visual Storytelling