If I am out with a TDSB nature walk group and we encounter a male Wood Duck I hear a lot of “Oh my goodness! Look at that !: or “That is so beautiful !”
Many North American Field guides have the male Wood Duck on the cover so it could be considered as our most beautiful bird.
However, after the breeding season when the young are out on their own, Wood Ducks, like many other bird species undergo a moult. Most of those gorgeous colours gradually disappear as the feathers are replaced and a slow transformation occurs. By winter they look their best once again. Poor penguins cannot go into the sea to feed while this occurs and look quite miserable.
From Humber Bay, here is how a group of Wood Ducks looked in August:
I will identify it at the end of the post.
The lack of ring on the bill indicates a Herring Gull.
Hello Miles, As usual,I enjoyed your post today of Col Sam Smith.
For the last couple of weeks the juvenile yellow crowned night heron has been making an appearance. He looks so much like the black crowned juvu.
Miles note: According to the Peterson Guide – very similar to young Black-crown, but darker, more finely speckled. Bill stouter, legs longer, yellowish.
In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer, quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day. – Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94)