Blue-winged Teal Ducks
(The drake has the half moon white marking on his cheeks)
Blue-winged Teal Ducks, Great Blue Herons, Coots, Snowy Egrets, and a Limpkin were all spotted at the North Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive on the shore of Lake Apopka in Apopka, Florida on March 3, 2019.
This wildlife drive is along levees and a one-way dirt road past the fresh water marshes, lake shore, and canals of the former farm land along the huge lake. The drive is open Fridays through Sundays and is free of charge. This whole area is chock-full of wildlife with wading birds and alligators being the starring attractions! I highly recommend visiting this area if in Central Florida (about 30 miles from Orlando). Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
A flock of Common Coots
Great Blue Heron
Florida Mottled Ducks
Blue Winged Teal Ducks, Florida Mottled Ducks, and the other resident critters (Great Egret and turtles) were spotted at the Northwest Marion County horse farm pond where I often go to observe the wildlife. This ranch pond is right down the street from where I took the pictures of that wonderful family of Sandhill Cranes, and also spotted Wild Turkeys on recent days.
I am glad I was able to see the ducks as this pond may have fewer ducks and other visitors in coming days due to major equestrian events which are happening on this very beautiful horse farm. I took these pictures on March 16, 2015. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
Blue Winged Teal Ducks
Florida Mottled Ducks
Blue Winged Teal Ducks
A trio of migratory Blue Winged Teal Ducks was briefly here on the little farm pond on April 2, 2012 in the afternoon. The ducks came, the cattle decided to wade, and off the ducks flew! The Blue Winged Teal are medium-sized ducks that enjoy a diet of snails, worms, aquatic insects, and a few aquatic bulbs. These ducks are lovely. This type of duck has been here on the pond before and last visited several weeks ago. This trio is likely an advanced group moving North. The Blue Winged Teal nest and spend the late Spring and Summer in the Northern U.S.A. and in Canada. They like ponds, lakes, and slow marshy areas of rivers. The male is a medium brown and has a black bill and a crescent-shaped white mark on its face. The hens are a mottled light tan with white and black streaks as well as a black bill. The hens look very similar to the Mallards or the Black Ducks. The hens are more quacky than the drakes are. I will present part two of this series tomorrow. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
A trio of what I think are beautiful Blue-Winged Teal ducks visited the little farm pond on Friday, March 2, 2012. At first I did not notice that the drake and two hens were in the water at the shoreline.. As soon as the ducks saw me, off they flew in a short hop, to the middle of the pond. The drake is much more colorful with a rich tan back and a small bit of blue on the edge of the wings plus a white patch. The drake also has a vertical curved line of white on its head near the bill. The hens are a light brown with dark brown streaks and the same patch of white as the males have.
These are migratory ducks here in TN. Many of these ducks come from the Midwest and Canada. They mostly eat aquatic snails and worms, and plants. If I have by chance mistakenly identified these ducks, please be so kind as to let me know and give the correct name. I had never seen this kind of ducks before. Thanks! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Yesterday I noticed a small flock of about fifteen Northern Shoveler Ducks here on the lake. This is the first time I have ever seen these fascinating dabbler Ducks. The Northern Shoveler Duck has a very large slightly spoon-shaped bill. The drake is beautifully colored with a white chest , cinnamon rust brown sides and dark brown, nearly black wings with slightly white edges. The bill is dark brownish-blue, in color. The head of the male or drake is dark with an almost purple sheen to it. The diet of the Northern Shoveler Duck is largely made up of plant seeds and small aquatic invertebrates.
I was surprised to see a group of several Blue-winged Teal Ducks paddling along with the Northern Shovelers. The diet of both kinds of ducks are very similar. The Blue-winged Teal is the smaller duck with the white crescent on its head and throat. Both the female or hen Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal Ducks look very similar but the Teals are smaller. The females both look very much like Mallard hens and also like Black Duck hens. There were a few American Coots (black in color) mixed in with the ducks. I was very happy to have seen these gorgeous migratory visitors. They will be on their way North soon. By the way, I will be posting some pictures of the Blue-winged Teal Ducks here soon. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!