Dabblers and Divers: November 13, 2021

It is evident even to a casual observer that some ducks (usually larger) always stay on the water’s surface while others (usually smaller) often disappear under the surface and reappear thirty seconds or so later.

We saw colourful examples of both today at Humber Bay.

Dabblers: These ducks eat vegetable material almost entirely. Examples are Mallards and Gadwall. American Wigeons are also dabblers and we saw some today in both the 8 am and 11:30 am groups. Wigeon diet is 80% grass leaves, 10% seeds with most of the rest being roots and stems.

American Wigeon
Bufflehead (male) and American Wigeon
American Wigeon (male)
American Wigeon (male)
American Wigeon (male)
American Wigeon (male)

Other dabblers from today:

Mallards
Mallard (male)
Gadwall (male)
Gadwall (male)
Gadwall (male)
Mallard (female)

Divers: These ducks eat animal material almost entirely. Examples are Buffleheads and Goldeneye. Hooded Mergansers are also divers and we saw some today in both the 8 am and 11:30 am groups. Hooded Merganser diet is largely small fish, crustaceans and water insects.

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Merganser (male)
Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Merganser (male)
Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Merganser (male)
Hooded Merganser (female)
Hooded Merganser (male)
Hooded Mergansers

Other divers:

Red-breasted Merganser (female)
Long-tailed Duck (female)
Long-tailed Duck (male)
Bufflehead (female)
Buffleheads (male)
Buffleheads
Bufflehead (female)
Bufflehead (female)
Bufflehead (male)

Other birds:

Ring-billed Gull
Northern Cardinal (male)
Northern Cardinal (male)
Mute Swan
Double-crested Cormorant
Ring-billed Gulls
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Double-crested Cormorants
Rock Pigeons
Double-crested Cormorant
Rock Pigeon
Double-crested Cormorant

8 am group:

11:30 am group:

MAILBOX

I received this photo of a turkey in a Montreal backyard.

NATURE POETRY

Oh Sing We Now The Holy Weeds – Margaret Atwood

The Purslane, Sorrel, Lamb’s Quarters,
And  Nettles, too, are good;
The Hawthorn, Elder, Sumac, Rose –
Their berries wholesome food.

The Holy Weeds are plentiful
And Beautiful to see –
For who can doubt God put them there
So starved we’ll never be?

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Dabblers and Divers: November 13, 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Before 8:00 o’clock group officially began, I was fortunate(?) enough to witness and watch a juvenile Gull (I am not sure of the variety–it was large) dismembering/gutting a fairly large, struggling fish it had caught and placed on the “dock” extending from the side of the boardwalk/walkway/bridge in order to be able to devour it. It took a considerable amount of time! On my way back to the bus, I saw the SAME GULL in the SAME SPOT doing the SAME THING to another fish it had caught. Too bad I didn’t have a camera.
    Needless to say, I felt sorry for the struggling fish, even as I was happy for the Gull!

    Reply

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