Sunday, March 8, 2009

Double Dose of Diving Ducks

I woke up this rainy morning to see four wild ducks in our pond. It's always exciting to have wild waterfowl visit the pond. I grabbed my bird guides and set about identifying our aquatic guests.
I have two bird books: "Smithsonian Handbooks Birds of North America Eastern Region" and "The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America". I like the Smithsonian book slightly better because it uses actual photographs of the bird which makes it slightly easier for me to identify. I also like the feature at the bottom of each page that allows you to write down where and when you saw the bird.
The first pair is two Ring-Necked Duck drakes. I assume they are last year's hatchlings and unmated bachelors. They were relaxing and enjoying themselves, diving now and then for a bite to eat.
The second pair were a much smaller pair of Hooded Mergansers. These little ducks are just adorable. Mr. Merganser has a very dapper hat and pin striped suit. Mrs. Merganser looks a bit tousled, but has very interesting stripes and patches of rusty browns. What a pretty pair of ducks!


  1. Hooded mergansers are the first wild duck that I identified when we moved out here to the farm twenty three years ago. Over the years we have seen so many different ducks on our big beaver ponds. For a couple of seasons Bet could not get enough of the sinking grebes. She still enjoys watching them.

  2. Amy, how nice to have the wild ducks stop by to visit the tame ones! Wow, things have changed around here once again! I hope all is well with you!

  3. Great duck pictures! I am just waiting for the buffleheads to come back through Iowa. They are very distinctive looking and I always like to see them on some of the local ponds as I drive by. With all the rain we've had in the past few days, perhaps some will visit my lagoon, I mean farmyard!

  4. Lanny, We really enjoy seeing all the wildlife that our pond attracts. But we don't have any beavers unfortunately! I've never seen a sinking grebe either. Lucky you!

    Kathie, All is well here, thanks for asking. This time of year brings the birds back our direction from up north. On Thursday I saw a turkey vulture and some song sparrows, so spring is definitely just around the corner! The robins are also becoming territorial again.

    Claire, we've got a lagoon in our yard too. I think we got several inches of rain today and now it's finally stopped. The spring mud is somethin' else!

  5. I love wild ducks, I like the noises they make and they are very pretty. Have a great week.

  6. Double your pleasure, double your fun.....!

    Love the hooded mergansers.

    Our backyard is just one big ole mud pit. I'm not sure we'll even have any grass at this point.


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