Monday, September 19, 2016

Wood Duck


A beautiful male Wood Duck paddles a backwater of the Milwaukee River in Mequon, Wisconsin. The water is covered by duckweed, but the floating green mat barely slows them down. These are migrants. They are just passing through.



This pair has a family of different ages, including hatch year youngsters and older siblings.

Two broods a year are quite common for Wood Ducks.


           I'll call these two brothers. They are just starting to develop the bold markings of male Wood Ducks.


The sun hung low.  The days are shortening as father and mother Wood Duck stretch and bend. They must prepare for the demands of a Wood Duck's day...perhaps starting with Wood Duck yoga.




Gleaning the water's surface for food is always a task. Whatever they were eating was too small for me to see, but they eat seeds, fruits, insects and yes, duckweed.


A Blue Jay's alarm call went out and the adult Wood Ducks alerted skyward in unison. No threat materialized and calm returned. Birds are known to respond to alarm calls of other bird species.



(Click any picture to enlarge.)

Wood Ducks are common in a vast area of the United States...always near water.

They are secretive though. They prefer rivers and creeks with abundant vegetation for cover.

This male offers an admiring glance.


                 He has a lot to offer a female, too. He is a handsome dude. You think he knows it?

Allan
Credits: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
The Sibley Guide to Birds