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!

video

6 comments:

  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.

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  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!

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  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!

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  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!

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

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  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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