A medium-sized flock of about twenty-five Red-Head Ducks came by the dock here on our 101 acre private community lake in Cumberland County, TN on Friday, March 11, 2011. The Red-Head Ducks are migratory visitors that just stopped by on the way home. The Red-Head Ducks mostly live in the West and North-western US. The Red-Head Ducks are diving ducks. These ducks sometimes will eat small aquatic animals, aquatic insects, but they mostly eat lake and stream weeds. The Drake or male Red-Head Duck is the fellow with the very handsome red-head. The female or hen, has a medium to dark brown body with lighter brown accent coloring.
I have read that the Red-Head female often borrows the nests of other species of ducks. Sometimes the Red-Head hen will lay eggs in her own nest, sometimes she will lay her eggs in another’s nest and sit on the eggs until they hatch, and sometimes she will lay and leave. The Red-Head Ducks do make good parents when they do choose to raise their own brood. This parenting though, seems hit and miss with these ducks. I was quite pleased to see the flock here. They will likely be gone in a few days. The Red-Head Ducks are very similar in looks to the Canvas-back Ducks. A couple of differences are the Red-Head Duck has a more round head and the canvas-back has a sloped forehead and slanted-look to its bill. The Red-Head Ducks also have a blue-tinged bill. In one of the pictures here (row 1 left side), a hen with a light ring of buff color above its bill, looks to be a Lesser Scaup Duck. It must just be traveling with the big flock of its friends. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Red Head Ducks
Wood Ducks, Red Head Ducks, Mallard Ducks, and the Hooded Merganser Ducks are the ducks featured in today’s post. The Wood Ducks and Mallard Ducks are all year around resident ducks here on our lake and on several other small lakes nearby. The Wood Ducks here are just a few, maybe ten at most and those are fairly spread out on the 101 acre lake. These Wood Ducks are among the most beautiful of all the ducks. The drake has much more color. The Red-Head Ducks are winter visitors and are quite few in number. I did not see a full flock but just four or five ducks. A Red-Head drake has the crimson red colored head. The Red-Head hen is a light brown color over all. The Red-Head Ducks were in a very large group of Ring Necked Ducks and were here during the last week of December through the first few weeks of January. I took the photograph of the Red-Head Ducks on Jan. 13, 2011.
The Hooded Merganser Ducks are diving ducks and have that very unusual feathered hood that can be raised and lowered by the duck at will. The Hooded Merganser females are a rich chestnut-brown color. The Mergansers were here on the lake about a month ago. I took the pictures of the Wood Ducks last week and the Mallard Ducks two days ago. By the way, the newest backyard visitor is an Opossum that my husband saw in the very early hours this morning. One of these days I’ll snap a few pictures of these nocturnal visitors. Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph. Enjoy!
Drake Mallard Duck
Hen Wood Duck
Drake Wood Duck
Hen Hooded Merganser Ducks
Two Hen Mallards and a Drake Mallard
Ring Neck Ducks, Bufflehead Ducks, Wood Ducks, American Widgeon Ducks, Red-Head Ducks and Mallard Ducks plus a few Lesser Scaup Ducks have all been here on the lake in the past two weeks. Our 101 acre private community lake here in Cumberland County, TN, is a stop-over for migratory Ducks as well as a year around home for the Mallard Ducks, Wood Ducks and various Geese. The lake is currently frozen over with just a very small couple of spots of open water. I took these pictures on 1-12-11 and 1-13-11 from my window and deck when there was considerably more open water areas on the lake. I enjoy watching all of the ducks in their daily paddles, flight, and rest. It is very interesting to me. I am fortunate to have a shoreline vista of all of the action. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Drake (male) Ring Neck Duck
Drake Red Head Duck and Ring Neck Ducks with one hen Bufflehead Duck
Drake Ring Neck Duck
Lesser Scaup Ducks, Red Head Ducks, Mallard Ducks, Northern Pintail Ducks, and the gorgeous Bufflehead Ducks were all in abundance on the 101 acre private community lake here on December 30, 2010, and December 31, 2010. I also took pictures of the Red Head Ducks on Jan. 1, 2011. The Lesser Scaup Ducks were in a large flock with many Mallard Ducks. There were also a few Canada Geese, Western Grebes, Pied-Billed Grebes and lots of American Coots out on the lake, too. The Scaups, Red Heads and Buffleheads are diving ducks and all seemed a bit smaller than the Mallards. The Ducks looked like they were in prime condition with brilliant feather colors. I so enjoyed seeing the huge numbers here! The Bufflehead Duck males are mostly white with black accents. The Bufflehead females, or hens, are dark brown with white accents, and look like almost an opposite of the male or drake. The Northern Pintail Duck has that upright stiff tail that is fairly long. The Mallard male has a green head, grey and buff body with charcoal accents. The female Mallard is mostly a medium tan with streaks of dark brown and white. The Lesser Scaup Ducks, Pintail Ducks, Red Heads and Buffleheads are migrant visitors. So are the Coots. We do have the Mallards here year around as we also have Wood Ducks off and on for most of the year. All are lovely! By the way, no hunting is allowed on or around the lake here. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!