Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

The battle of the goldeneyes

Marty’s photo of the day #2883: Every time Deb and I visit Yellowstone National Park, we experience something amazing—and it’s not necessarily the wolves or the grizzlies. This past Saturday we hiked up to Trout Lake, which we had to ourselves. At first I was disappointed because the lake was frozen and we saw no signs of wildlife. But at the far end of the lake was a small section of open water. We hiked over and saw a beautiful pair of goldeneye ducks. We then explored some more and returned to the same spot on our way back. This time another pair of goldeneyes were there, hoping to share the water. For the next thirty minutes we sat and watched a battle royal between the two males. The battle over territory was so intense, the ducks were unconcerned about our presence. Eventually one pair flew off, only to have second thoughts and come back for another try. The fight continued. From the looks of it, no one got hurt and eventually the invading pair (I think) took to the air in search of another lake. I will be sharing more photos of this epic battle in the coming days. Here’s the first one.

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