Ducks on honeymoon

I promised to show you some of the waterfowl that stay and breed, including Wood Ducks and mergansers,

The most dramatic are the Wood Ducks. They are very shy, but this pair flew in over my head without noticing me, and settled down.

Wood ducks

The males in breeding plumage are extremely handsome, bedecked in an almost military outfit:

Wood ducks

The females are much more discreet:

Wood ducks

I don’t think they are breeding on my pond this year, but last year they did.

We have Canada Geese (yes, you probably hate them but this is their home territory, and I find them rather impressive.) About 8 of them arrived, paired off, then fought for territory,

Canada Goose

As far as I can tell only one pair has stayed put. This pair have chosen an old beaver lodge to raise their young.

Canada Goose

Feeding on the roots of water plants while they wait for everything to green up again.

Canada goose

Finally, ten ducklings, now confirmed by Cornell’s eBird moderators as a female Hooded Merganser and her ducklings, with a Black Duck behind them.

Common mergansers with ducklings

I am actually very worried about them because we have had no rain, and they have chosen an old beaver pond whose dam is no longer being maintained. It is drying out fast, and I don’t know how they will manage. Perhaps she will have to move them, like the  mother in Make Way for Ducklings, a Boston children’s classic by Robert McCloskey.

 

ducklingspg46-47_custom-8c2b8fd4e8494177837c3537339224efc25b5969-s1100-c15

PS An earlier version of this post expressed bewilderment at the identity of the ducklings, now thankfully sorted out for me by the Cornell experts!

3 thoughts on “Ducks on honeymoon”

  1. So you saw Wood Duck babes? Must have been adorable! A quick look on Google, it seems like the Mallard & Black Duck ducklings seem to have a ‘bar’ on each side of their eyes. I wonder how many times ‘Make Way for Ducklings’ was read to me & how many times I read it to my 3 kids & they read it to me?! Here, kids go on a schooltrip & see the bronze statues of Mack & siblings & there is a Duckling parade each year.

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