A group of four Mallard Ducks reluctantly joined that lone Bufflehead drake a week ago on the little farm pond. The drake Bufflehead spotted the much larger Mallard Ducks and wanted to say hello. I wish I could say that the Mallards were hospitable, but basically they just acknowledged the presence of the little white and black duck and then ignored it. The ducks did spend a moment doing some preening or grooming their feathers. That preening is very important as the feathers must stay clean in order to help the ducks float and also stay warm. I took these pictures last week in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
Posts tagged ‘little farm pond’
Mallards are the “Resident” ducks here at the little farm pond. They are the single kind of duck that sticks around all year-long. The flock is a small one with only about eight or so around. They come and go a lot. There is a small lake across the road and several other farm ponds in the vicinity. There also are two other lakes in the area. So lots of places for waterfowl to be happy at. The drake or male Mallard is the one with that emerald-green head. The hen is a tan-to-brown with dark brown streaks and a touch of blue on each wing.
The Mallards are tipping ducks and eat aquatic vegetation, land-based plants, grains, and both aquatic and land insects. These ducks are very quacky and seem social-even with other kinds of ducks. There are also many Mallard Ducks that are hybrids. These are the ones that have just a slightly different look. The Mallard crosses are often with the Teal or Black Ducks. I took these pictures in my yard on several days this week. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Doesn’t everyone have a Great Blue Heron in their front yard? Well, occasionally I do! The Great Blue Herons are here so often that my husband has jokingly started referring to the large grey wading bird as “Hank Heron”, a pun on the name of the baseball great, Henry Aaron. This heron is here nearly every day and lives a few yards off of the upper end of the pond here. It nests in the tip-top of a large Pine Tree. These Great Blue Herons love fishing here in the little farm pond because it is full of smaller easily caught fish. There also are plenty of other heron delights such as frogs and large aquatic insects. The ducklings are large enough to be safe now, but the herons do relish young duckling for a meal. Just part of the natural food cycle for these birds. I was happy to take these pictures on August 17, 2012 in my yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
This Great Blue Heron is one of a pair that are resident here at the little farm pond. There are plenty of fish and other aquatic animals plus tasty larger insects to keep the herons happy here. I see the Great Blue Herons nearly every day now. I saw this one on July 30, 2012 and took its picture in mid-afternoon. It was on this side of the pond. The cows are closer to the water since it has been hot so the herons hang out on this side of the pond to avoid the wading cattle. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
The three Wood Ducklings are doing fine and were out on the pond last evening at about 7:20pm when I snapped these pictures. The ducks were way out on the pond and were traveling from this shore to the opposite side of the pond. They try to stay on which ever side of the pond does not have a Great Blue Heron or any cows wading along the shoreline. The cattle that graze in the field across the pond often cool off by taking a dip in the cool pond and that disturbs the ducks.
The ducklings will be flying in another month but can only paddle for now. They are growing fast and are almost as big as their mother. No sign of any drakes or males. Maybe the boys are happily paddling and flying around the nearby small private community lake down the way. Who can tell? I was thrilled to see the ducklings in great condition. I look forward to seeing these ducks here in coming months as semi-residents of the little farm pond. Please click on the thumbnail image to se the larger picture. Enjoy!
A Great Blue Heron was back here at the little farm pond three days ago. It flew in and walked among the cattle on the other side of the pond. After a few minutes, the big bird walked down to the reedy shore-line and stood looking for a tasty meal. I think it was being annoyed by a male Red-winged Blackbird, which if you look carefully, you’ll see in one of the photographs. After awhile I left so as not to disturb the bird. At that time, I don’t know if it went hungry or had a good meal.
The Great Blue Heron eats fish, frogs, insects and small aquatic animals. I took these pictures in my yard on June 4, 2012, and again early last evening (6/6/12). Last night while I was taking some of these pictures, a Great Blue Heron (possibly the same one that was here on Monday) was here again. That bird was quite happy to have caught a fish to eat! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!