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Sunday, February 28, 2010

A few ducks ...

And the band played on ... this hen Ring-Necked Duck appears to be on the podium conducting an inspirational symphony.

The Mottled Duck is one of my favorite ducks. The orange legs, bluish-purple wing patch, yellow bill and black body markings on the Mottled Ducks are striking. The white underwing contrast to its black body really catches your eye as it becomes airborne and flies off.

The white ring around the bill of the Ring Necked Duck is a dead give-away for its ID distinguishing it from the Greater and Lesser Scaups.

The most beautiful duck in the United Stated ... this drake Wood Duck was sitting in the middle of some brush in the main pool at Lacassine Refuge. I suppose he felt it helped to camouflage and hide him.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Goldeneye Courtship

I was lucky to witness the Common Goldeneye's courtship display which was quite spectacular. The drake Goldeneye showed off for the hens by splashing the water and flapping his wings saying, "Here I am. Look at me. I'm so pretty. I'm a BAD Man!" getting their attention.

At times he would snap his head over his back with his bill pointing upward then utter a shrill call impressing the hens although this hen didn't seem to be particularly moved.

Oddly enough, a week ago I observed a Redhead Duck laying his head over his back with his bill pointing to the sky similar to the Goldeneye.

There was a whole lot of neck stretching going on. They stretched it to the left.

And they stretched it to the right. The hen even got into it this go around.

The two hens were still playing hard to get so the drake Goldeneye put his best move on them stretching his neck and lifting his head high into the air with his bill pointing at the sky. What hen could resist this display by such a handsome, boisterous drake Goldeneye?

How similar is a Goldeneye's courtship behavior to our own? :)

Spring is in the air!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My son-in-law and I were admiring the assorted ducks/birds at Lacassine Refuge when this stunning drake Wood Duck flew over and lit in the pool. He stole the show as he paddled about displaying his colorful plumage.

This drake Redhead Duck put on quite a show. At times he laid his head all the way on his back. At times he raised his head high, puffed up his cheeks as pictured and dispensed with a sound similar to a cat's meow. I've heard ducks quack and whistle but never 'meow'. :)

This hen Redhead Duck was close by her 'man' playing hard to get.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

As the sun was setting and the day was coming to a close, the White Ibis were coming in droves, seeking solitude in the trees to rest for the night. Their dark silhouettes against the fiery sunset as they swooped in was a great way to end the day.