Monday, November 28, 2011

Twenty-six Ruddy Ducks Can't Be Wrong

 I recently took a ride to the Durham/Wallingford area in search of ducks and geese. This is known to be a productive area to find certain types of waterfowl, especially in November.
 I was able to find some Green-winged Teal ,  which seem to prefer the most shallow of ponds.
  I don't know what the deal was with this white- headed goose but I'm guesing it must be some sort of hybrid. It looks like Canada Goose that had a bad bleach job and used artificial tanning cream on its legs.
The Canada Geese in this photo were in a small pond on route 68 that is owned by a hunting club. I noticed just beyond the geese were some small ducks.
A closer look revealed that they were Ruddy Ducks. I have found Ruddy Ducks at this pond in past years. I 'm guessing that the depth of the water, type of vegetation, and geographic location are some of the reasons why they return here but I'm curious why they ignore other ponds in the area that appear to be almost identical to this one. They must have their reasons because I counted 26 of them and 26 Ruddy Ducks can't be wrong!

 The Ruddy Duck is a small diving duck that rarely walks on land. It is very difficult for them to walk because their feet are set so far back on their body. I like they look swimming around with their tails perked up in the air. They were an introduced species over in Europe and are considered to be a problem in some areas over there.

 Below are some links to information I found on the web about Ruddy Ducks. Much of the information is the same but each one offers something slightly different.
and there is fantastic photo of a Ruddy Duck on this recent post from Birding is Fun

6 comments:

Ruth said...

That looks like a leucistic goose to me. We have a few of them locally. I have seen the winter diving ducks from a distance around here but should take a closer look.

Whitemist said...

the goose is strange, but i am not that good a "birder" to know. The truth of the stuff that grows in the pond is something i know and very correct - must be yummy to them

Larry said...

Ruth-I'll have to look that up thanks-I don't like lugging around a scope but it comes in handy for those distant ducks.

Whitemist-Neither am I. I've seen that stuff before-good to know the ducks lie it.

Hilke Breder said...

Love that photo with the Canada Geese in the foreground and the cows in the background. So tranquil! The odd goose may be a hybrid of Greylag Goose which has yellow legs, and perhaps Snow Goose or domestic goose or maybe, as Ruth said, a leucistic goose.

Larry said...

Hilke-Thanks-I like thought having the cows in the background did make for an interesting scene. The mix with the Greylag seems like a good possibility.

Kathiesbirds said...

An interesting post, Larry. that unusual goose is something else and you have me intrigued! I have not seen one green-winged teal yet this season! I guess i will have to go "hunting" for some!