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Posts tagged ‘Wild Ducks’

A Drake Hooded Merganser

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This male Hooded Merganser duck was spotted on Sunday March 5, 2017, at the Wal-Mart pond on CR 466 in The Villages, Florida.

The Hooded Merganser was first seen lounging on the base of a large pond fountain.  After a moment, the duck slid into the water and paddled off in search of a bite to eat.  I did not see a female or hen with the merganser.  I did see a few Mallard Ducks there as well as a Little Blue Heron and a single Common Moorhen.

Hooded Mergansers are gorgeous ducks.  The males are rusty-brown, white and black in color.   Male Hooded Mergansers have a large white hooded region on their heads that they raise when alert or to signal danger to the other ducks.  These ducks dive for prey of fish, frogs, crayfish, tadpoles and small tender turtles.

I have been seeing the Hooded Mergansers with some Bufflehead Ducks, and Lesser Scaups around the community in the last couple of weeks.  Pretty soon, these migratory ducks will head North.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

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Almost Wordless Wed. – The Whistlers

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Here are more photographs of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (from a week ago at Paradise Lake in The Villages, FL).  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of that particular photo.  Enjoy!

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Waterfowl Wednesday: “Whistlers”

Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

These Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were photographed early last night at almost dusk, on Lake Paradise at Swartz Park and also at Boone Park, here in The Villages, Florida.

The ducklings were all in a line behind Mom and Dad.  Those babies are adorable with their dark blue-grey bills and feet.  Mom and Dad have the distinctive coral orange-pink bills and feet.  This family is among a small flock on the lake.

I think perhaps a resident offers duck chow but I do not know that for a fact.  I believe this flock was also here last year.  The “Whistlers” come and go from around The Villages, FL.  These ducks love eating aquatic insects, tiny fish, aquatic vegetation, tadpoles, worms, and of course, grain.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo.  Enjoy!

Adult Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Adult Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Adult Black-bellied Whistling Duck

Juvenile and Adult Black-bellied Whistling Ducks

The Whistler Family

The Whistler Family

Ducks at Lake Paradise in The Villages, FL

 

Likely a Hybrid Florida Mottled Duck and Mallard Duck

Likely a hybrid Florida Mottled and Mallard Duck

These ducks are Florida Mottled Ducks and hybrid Mallard/Fl Mottled Ducks.  I took these pictures on Sept. 7, 2016 at a small private park lake, Lake Paradise, located in The Villages, FL.  I took these pictures at Swartz Park and also at Paradise Park.  Many times in the late afternoon or early evening, I see ducks at the tiny Swartz Park, on the gazebo/parking lot side.  By the way, there sometimes are Black-bellied Whistling Ducks (Whistlers) at that location.

Florida Mottled Ducks and Mallards both are dabbing ducks.  They tip their heads down into the water while they search the shallows of lakes, streams, and ponds for various types of aquatic insects and small aquatic animals.  These ducks also enjoy eating grain.

The male or drake Mottled Duck has a bright yellow bill.  Both genders of the Florida Mottled Duck resemble a hen Black Duck or a hen Mallard a bit.  The Florida Mottled Ducks and Mallard Ducks often will interbreed so one can see a hybrid which resembles the Mallard, but is not quite fully Mallard in looks.  I always enjoy watching ducks.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version.  Enjoy!

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Wordless Wednesday: Flying “Whistlers”

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Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger picture of the Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in flight.  Enjoy!

Ducks at Veteran’s Park, The Villages, FL

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A few white domestic Pekin Ducks, a lone Mallard drake, and a bunch of hybrid mixes (likely Muscovy and Pekin or Mallard and Pekin) were all happily strolling around the peaceful shoreline of the pond end of Lake Miramar at the Veteran’s Park in The Villages, Florida, near Spanish Springs Square.

I spotted the ducks late in the afternoon this past Sunday.  Several ducks were resting under the Rhododendron bushes.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger version.   Enjoy!

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Florida Mottled Ducks in the Basins and Ponds

At the Golf Course pond

At the Golf Course Pond in our Development

In recent days, Florida Mottled Ducks have visited the temporary rainfall retention ponds in the development where my hubby and I live.  These native dabblers also were seen at two Northwestern Marion County rural farm ponds with one pair enjoying the company of a whole bunch of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks!  I took these pictures on April 17, 2015, April 20, 2015, and on April 22, 2015.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see a slightly larger version of that picture.

At the Golf Course Pond

At the Golf Course Pond in our Development

At the Large Rainfall Basin

At the Large Rainfall Basin in our Development

At a Backyard Pond in Horse Country

At a Backyard Pond in N.W. Marion County, FL

at the Horse Ranch Pond

At the Horse Ranch Pond in N.W. Marion County, FL

At a Backyard Pond in Horse County

At a Backyard Pond in N.W. Marion County, FL

At the Horse Ranch Pond

At the Horse Ranch Pond in N.W. Marion County, FL

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