The Male is very colorful and well actually, pretty! Though the female isn’t quite as colorful, she is still beautiful…
They will make a loud wooo-eeek call when startled into flight…
This is a photo of the male Wood Duck, see his dark green head and bright red eye!
They breed mostly in the east, but also can be permanent residents on the west coast. They will pair off in the winter, then the males will follow the females to the nesting range. Some years a male might end up migrating close by, while the next year he may go farther up north (they get a new mate each year)…
They nest in tree cavities near water which can be up to 65 feet above the ground! Often females will lay their eggs in others’ nests, leaving that female to incubate the eggs.
Young ducklings jump to the ground the day after they hatch!!!
I wanted to let you all know that I just finished another book!
This one is about a Bohemian Waxwing that I saw in an apple orchard a few years ago. It was a lifer for me and the only time that I have ever seen the Bohemian Waxwings.
If you get a chance, check it out on Amazon. I created it as an ebook and a paperback. I give out a lot of the paperbacks to the kids I know, I find that it helps to get them interested in birds and nature.
The bird migration is on! Birds have started to be on the move to their breeding grounds and luckily I’ve been able to find a few of them…
This is the Prothonotary Warbler. This male is a beautiful bright yellow with blue-gray wings and tail.
I heard him singing first, then I began to look around to find out just what bird it was. This one was checking out the dead tree behind him possibly for a nest. As he was checking it out a pair of Carolina Chickadees were letting him know that they were also interested in that real estate!
I went back a few days later and no one has claimed the prime location, maybe next time someone would have moved in and called it home…
I noticed this Eastern Kingbird by its “dazee, dzeet” calls. I found them in two different wildlife refuges recently, they all seem to come back at the same time… they do migrate in flocks, so that might explain it.
This beautiful Palm Warbler is just passing through, so I feel very lucky to have seen it!
They will breed up in Canada and winter in Florida.
Many birders find it difficult to identify which Scaup they see. You really do have to get a good look at the bird before you can say for sure just which one it is!
The other day while I was at the wildlife refugee, my husband spotted a flock of Scaups in a small pond. I got out of the car some distance away as to not scare them off.
I walked a few steps and took some photos, then a few steps more, then more photos…
There was one group of about 20 and then a separate group of 4. I made sure to get photos of both groups.
Here is what I saw.
These are Greater Scaups. They were in the smaller group, swimming off to the side of the bigger group. Luckily I was able to get these photos, so that I could do my “homework” and study them on my computer when I got home.
Take a good look at their heads, that is where you’ll find the best way to identify the Scaups. The Greater Scaup has a more rounded head with the higher point in the front. The Lesser Scaup’s highest point of its head is toward the back.
Here are a few Lesser Scaups.
Do you see the difference? Sometimes its hard to get a good look at them when you’re out walking, that’s why I take the photos.
Here are a few water birds that I’ve seen lately. I’m very lucky to live on a lake, so that I can see these birds!
This is the male Hooded Merganser. Mergansers are the only US ducks that specialize in eating fish. They forage by diving and swimming underwater. Fish is found by sight, their eyes are adapted for good underwater vision.
This Great Blue Heron is also looking for fish. They usually forage by standing still or walking slowly in the shallow water, when a fish swims near, they strike them with their bill. I’ve seen them eat some very big fish and it amazes me how they manage to swallow them without choking!
The Canada Goose can be found throughout all of the US and Canada. Years ago they used to migrate, but now many geese remain as permanent residents to their area.
Their diet consists almost entirely on plant material. They “honk” or talk to each other in their flocks. I usually hear them honking when they are about to fly off to another area, sometimes I hear them honking in the middle of the night (for no good reason at all except to wake me up)…
The other day while I was looking out back at my feeders, I saw a duck landing in the water nearby. It was only there for a couple of minutes before it got spooked by a couple of Double-crested Cormorants.
It was the Ring-necked Duck. I hadn’t seen one yet for the year. I took a couple of photos of it before it took off. (Luckily I had my camera nearby).
They breed up in Canada and will winter in Southern US and into Mexico. Their diet consists mostly of aquatic plants and insects.
Usually they will forage by diving around in the shallow water.
Though they are named the Ring-necked Duck, the ring on their neck is hardly ever visible.
A couple of days after I saw this one show up, a flock of about 50+ appeared and have been foraging in the shallow water across the lake every morning since.
The male Eastern Bluebird is really a beautiful bird… I’ve been seeing a few of them at my feeders this winter.
They don’t seem to eat any of the seeds, but they love the suet. During breeding season they can be seen throughout the east coast over to central US. In the winter they usually migrate to the southern states.
This year though my brother has seen them up in New England. Not sure if the Bluebird knows that maybe it is going to be a mild winter up north and that is why some of them didn’t migrate south???