Thursday, February 12, 2015

In Celebration of Aaqhaaliq

In mid-February, there really is only one thing to do; wrap up warm, take something hot to drink and head for the coast. For now is the time to be celebrating Aaqhaaliq , or aqhalik, or any other number of spellings - it all comes to the same thing, the Long-tailed Ducks are courting in the surf and it's time to get out there with the camera. So what are those strange words I was using? They are forms of the Inupiak name for the Long-tailed Duck, a name which comes from the remarkable calls of courting males and one of the most fabulous of sounds at this time of year.

Long-tailed Ducks - like many duck species - court and pair up during the winter period and, for Long-tails at least, it is during February that activity really seems to reach a peak. For this reason, we always schedule our Long-tails in Love program to take place around this time so why not give us a call on 609-861-0700 and book a place for this coming Saturday - what better way to celebrate Valentine's Day than by sharing with us a duck with a strawberry pink bill!

Long-tailed Ducks are a highlight of any February trip to the coast, whether they be tiny waifs against a raging surf, or calling 'ow-owdl-ow' as they woo their brides [photos by Mike Crewe].

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