Wood Ducks were spotted at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, Florida on Tuesday, January 4, 2017. I had an errand in Ocala so we decided to check on what was going on wildlife-wise at Tuscawilla. Mostly ducks, cormorants, ibis, and a few Wood Storks. No pelicans or herons at all on that occasion.
The Wood Ducks are especially beautiful. Notice that one of the hens is very light in color. I may have photographed this leucastic hen two years ago there. The leucastic color is just a faded color on the feathers and is a rare condition, probably a genetic mutation.
Wood Ducks eat fish, crayfish, frogs, tender small turtles, and aquatic insects for the most part. Occasionally they will also eat grains and fruit. They nest up perhaps ten feet or more in trees where the ducklings glide out onto the ground as pretty-much new hatchlings. That always amazes me. The nests are usually in hollowed out spaces in trees or in specially made “Duck boxes” on posts on the immediate shore or in the water on poles.
Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the picture. Enjoy!
Female Red-winged Blackbird on Spring Lake
I took these pictures of various waterfowl and birds in beautiful Fairfield Glade, TN when I was there last week on personal business. I thought I’d share a few snapshots taken at two of the smallest of the lakes there at the resort community. I took these pictures on April 7, 2015 and April 8, 2015. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Pied-billed Grebes on Spring Lake
Male Red-winged Blackbird on Spring Lake
A Pair of Wood Ducks on Lake Oxford
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Black-bellied Whistling Ducks
Here are some of the ducks I have spotted in the last several weeks in Marion County, Florida. I saw all except the Florida Mottled Ducks at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala. The small group of Mottled Ducks was spotted at one of the golf course rainfall retention ponds here in the development where I live. The Musvovies and the Pekins are domestic (farm) ducks but the others are all wild ducks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo. Enjoy!
Muscovy Ducklings and Hen
Florida Mottled Ducks
Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers were among the many migratory birds I saw at Tuscawilla Park in Ocala, FL, on January 20, 2015, and January 23, 2015. One of the hen Wood Ducks was unusually light colored, a “Leucastic” coloring.
There were just a handful of each of the Wood Ducks and the Hooded Mergansers among the throng of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks and a few domestic Muscovy and Pekin Ducks that are year around park ducks. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
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!
The Red-headed Woodpecker family has been out and about as have the older trio of Wood Ducklings. The dark headed Red-headed Woodpecker is a juvenile. The adult shown in the picture is an adult. Adult Red-headed Woodpeckers have the scarlet red-head and neck and have much clearer white and black backs. The juvenile Red-headed Woodpeckers have slight barring on the back and faint black spotting on their bellies.
The Wood Duck ducklings are the older ducklings born here this past Spring. There also are a pair of ducklings born later on in the Summer but I have not seen them around. They may be out on the nearby lake. The Wood Ducks are quite shy. I was happy to see these beautiful ducks, though from a long distance, yesterday. I took all of these pictures just after it had stopped raining in the late afternoon here in the yard. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
House Finch, Male Northern Cardinal
A Northern Cardinal in molt (poor thing – he has lost his red feathers on his face and forehead), a trio of juvenile hen Wood Ducks, a Red-headed Woodpecker disturbed by the presence of a Mourning Dove on the electric pole, a bunch of House Finches on the bird feeder, a Carolina Chickadee, and the graceful Great Blue Heron were some of the many birds that were here in my yard yesterday.
It rained off and on so some of the birds are rather drenched. The Wood Ducks are maturing. It was just a couple of months ago when they were tiny fluffy ducklings behind their mother on the pond. I took these pictures yesterday, Aug. 3, 2012. The pictures of the birds at the feeder were taken inside my house through the window, window screen and through the porch rail. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!
Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Hen Wood Ducks
Mourning Dove, Red-headed Woodpecker
The Wood Ducks have been extra busy as of late. I was quite pleasantly surprised yesterday to stumble upon a new mother hen Wood Duck and her new brood of three precious ducklings here on the pond. I did not know that Wood Ducks would start families so late in the year, but well, here they are! I am guessing that these ducklings are about a few days old now.
They are certainly not the same ducklings that I had earlier photographed (those are now learning to fly). I think that the drakes must be hanging out at the lake down the street. I have not seen a drake here since May. I am thrilled to see these new babies and hope they thrive! I took these photographs in a big hurry so as not to upset the mother duck and her babies. I took the pictures on July 21, 2012 in my yard. 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!