Wood Ducks are quite gorgeous! I was happy beyond measure to have seen a double family of Wood Ducks on the Dead River in Central Florida on Friday, April 25, 2014. Friends of mine invited me out for a day-long boating journey and we enjoyed seeing a lot of riparian wildlife.
This particular group of Wood Ducks was amazing! There were two father drakes, two mother hens, and twenty-three ducklings! What a sight! I noticed several duck boxes along the banks of this rather lake-like river. This river gets its name from the geographical characteristic of the river dead-ending into land and having a very slow current. Yes, the Dead River is full of life and I am so glad! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
On Friday, February 10, 2012, I was out looking at the pond and saw a pair of Hooded Mergansers out on the water. The diving mergansers love to swim under the surface and catch small fish, aquatic insects, turtles and snails. They are very beautiful migratory waterfowl. The male is mostly black, a golden-light brown, and white with a white hooded crest that it can raise or lower over his black head. The hen is a cinnamon sable brown with black and white areas. Both genders have long pointed dark brown bills.
I also saw a hen Bufflehead duck paddling with the mergansers. There were several Mallard ducks, a pair of Ring-necked ducks, and a pair of Canada Geese here at the same time, too. We had Hooded Mergansers here a couple of months back. I wonder if these are those same ducks on the reverse trip of their migration? Perhaps so. They are wonderful to watch. It has been quite cold here with a touch of snow on Friday night. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
AFTERNOON UP-DATE: It’s snowing and 19 degrees out today so I am arm-chair wildlife watching through the windows. I spotted about ten Hooded Mergansers on the pond this afternoon. It seems like the pair in today’s post (I took the pictures yesterday) were the “advance scouts”. – Wildlifewatcher
My favorite of the ducks came to call yesterday afternoon here on pond. I am really happy to have had these handsome little diving ducks here. They are so beautiful with their white and black on the male and purple-black and white on the female. So lovely. They are very hard for me to photograph as they stay far from people and often dive under the water to avoid being seen. The Buffleheads are here in the Winter months as migratory visitors.
The pond here is quite close to the community lake, a larger private pond and three other private lakes. The ducks have a good number of bodies of water on which to paddle explore rest and stay. By the way, the brown ducks pictured with the drake Bufflehead, I think were Gadwalls and a Black Duck. There is also the resident Great Blue Heron standing in the background in one of the shots. I am just so glad to have had the Buffleheads here! I took these pictures on 1/15/12 in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!