It was another beautiful day on the Canadian prairies yesterday. Tomorrow many of the migration events as birds move through out province from north to south. The Sandhill Cranes have covered the farmer’s fields in the south already and a friend noted that the nuthatches and chickadees were all over her feeders yesterday.
There are birds coming and going at one of the local parks but the Wood Ducks remain, waiting for the juveniles to be ready. The Canada Geese were there, too, and a few people were feeding the ducks and geese grain and corn. I will say it again – all the signs put up to say no bread or salted popcorn, etc. have worked. The pond is much cleaner and while the birds might be acting like they are starving they are healthier for the effort.
This little female Wood Duck was such a sweetie.
I am a big softie for our Canada Geese. There were about 200 of them around the pond and several hundred more on the playing fields eating grass.
These male Wood Ducks are in various phases of molt. Some, like this one, are almost finished while others remain in the eclipse phase, halfway finished. By the time they fly the males will be there colourful selves!
Those red eyes are a certain way to know it is a male Wood Duck.
Did you know that Wood Ducks are a type of perching duck. They like to stand in trees and will, if there is a box available, make their nests high off the ground.
Some of the wood Ducks joined the Mallards and the Northern Shovelers for some wild birdseed a couple were tossing on the ground.
There were about 50 of the little female Wood Ducks out and about trying to get seed.
Ah, they are so sweet. The white teardrop around the eye lets you know this is a Wood Duck.
Isn’t she gorgeous? She looks like she has white goggles on. But that beautiful grey and rusty mottled chest is stunning.
My bird book says this is a female Northern Shoveler. They will dabble on the surface of the water for food but we watched them use their wings and feet to stir up the water to get food from the bottom to rise. This one has decided to try out the wild bird seed the couple are spreading on the ground.
This cute little female Mallard kept looking at me. I wonder if she thought she should charge to have her picture taken? Perhaps a handful of seed?
Mallards are dabbling ducks. They tip themselves so they can feed feed, rooting through shallow water and mud in search of plants and insects. She will also nibble along the surface and yes, she loves it when you feed her seed on land.
This juvenile male Wood Duck was having a great time with an acorn. At first I thought he was going to choke but no, he was playing a game.
He would pick up the acorn and then he would let it roll chasing it down the embankment and then picking it up again.
This little Mallard started imitating the Wood Duck. It was quite hilarious.
There were about 50 ducks coming up to find seed. Can you spot the female Wood Ducks? and the female Mallards?
It was lovely in the park. It was so good to see people feeding the ducks the right food. Those signs really worked. One man came over to talk to me – everyone is always curious when you are out with a camera and a long lens. He thought I had found something super special! He entertained me with Knock-Knock jokes. Then he offered me some advice, ‘You can get bags of wild bird seed at the Dollar Store. I bring two bags every evening.’ What a great guy. ‘Be sure not to throw the seed in the water!’ as he walked to his car. He is absolutely right. Only toss the seed up on the ground away from the shore.
In other bird news: Maya and Blue 33 have migrated from Rutland. Maya on the 30th and Blue 33 on the 31st according to Rutland’s announcement. Everyone has now left the Dyfi Nest with Idris the last to fly out on the 30th. Aran remains at the Glaslyn Nest waiting til the last either because of his wing injury or he is still protecting the nest or both. I have not heard if Z2 (Aeron) at the Pont Croesar nest has left or not. The WBSE continue to do well so everything is alright with them. They are stretching their long necks to see what they will do. There is no news about Iris having left the Hellgate Canyon area of Missoula for her migration. Someone believed they took a snap of her on her favourite tree down on the river this morning. There was still one egg on the Orange Peregrine Falcon nest but there could be another later today.
Take care everyone. I hope to find some pelicans today – are they hiding? And if not, I will go back and feed the ducks at the local park. Thank you for joining me this morning. Stay safe!