Wood Ducks: May 2021

Many consider the Wood Duck to be North America’s most beautiful duck.

Wood Duck (male)

For a time in the early 1900’s it was considered an endangered species but it has responded well to more enlightened hunting policy.

Wood Ducks (male)

It is still not common except in High Park.

Wood Duck (male)

The male is unmistakable with its greenish crest, white face, dark blue wings, partly red bill and yellowsih buff sides.

Wood Duck (male)

The female also has a bit of a crest but the “spectacles” around the eyes are its best field mark.

Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Ducks (male)
Wood Ducks (male)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Duck (male)

MYSTERY BIRD

I will identify it at the end of the post.

Other birds:

Double-crested Coromrant
Mute Swan
Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Canada Geese
Warbling Vireo

Some botany:

Red-osier (Cornus sericea)
Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Huckleberry (Gaylussacia baccata)
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina)
Marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris)
Round-leaved Dogwood (Cornus foemina)
Marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris)
Violet (viola)
Black Oak with sagging bark
Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis)
Wild Lupine (Lupinus perennis)
Bracken Fern
Morrow’s Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)

MYSTERY BIRD

The spikelike bill, dark head, bill and chest identify this as a female Hooded Merganser.

Hooded Merganser (female)

MAILBOX

From Ruth Calman:
I just posted about the wood ducklings and grebe chicks and am forwarding a pic of the former in case you don’t have one for posting as people might be interested in seeing what they look like.  It was mid day so light was quite harsh.

NATURE POETRY

In May-time, when the lilac-plumes
Droop from the branch their purple blooms;
When chestnuts clap their leafy hands,
And every bud with joy expands;
When in the moist, sequester’d nooks
Of woods is heard the call of brooks,
The wood-duck builds its downy nest
Secure from prowling schoolboy’s quest. – Isaac McClellan

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Wood Ducks: May 2021

  1. Charles Bruce-Thompson

    Looks just like a female double-crested cormorant to me. I could be wrong. I usually am

    Reply
  2. rosemarie fischer

    wonderful pics,Miles. those wood ducks are gorgeous! it looks like an artist had little bits of paints left and dabbed some here and there…….also, lovely poetry…….thanks……….

    Reply
  3. Lisa Volkov

    I’ll never forget the first time I saw a male Wood Duck. It was at the Keating Channel, and I remember the amazement my hiking buddy and I both felt at the sight of it. We couldn’t believe it was real! We thought it looked like a painted wooden decoy (a common perception, I am sure, despite the fact that a decoy is supposed to look like a real duck!) Later, he called his mother (who knew something about birds and ducks), long distance, to find out what it was (she knew). Thanks, Miles! And Thank You too, Ruth, for the wonderful picture of mother and chick!

    Reply

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