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Posts Tagged ‘duck’

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anhinga

Anhinga

 

 

 Click on pictures to enlarge.

 

   

The pattern is clear now. Every time I grab the camera to capture a shot, something else moves into the scene, invariably an even better visual catch. Yesterday was a close match as to what was best. I have watched for the Hooded Merganser duck to return for the second year. As I got out of the car yesterday, I spotted a hen and drake down at the pond. So I run for the camera and snap away at the shy fowls. As you can see, they do not make it easy to get a good shot. So I waited and waited, hoping they might venture closer. Suddenly a snake surfaced too close them and startled me. It took only another second to realize that it was not a snake, but a Snakebird—an anhinga! This is prize I have been waiting for. Only once before has an anhinga visited the pond and my camera shots were not good. I camped out this time. The results you see here. I still wait for that wonderful close-up of the bird drying his fully outstretched wings. (Anhingas do not have the oil glands necessary to shed water like other water birds, so they must “hang them out to dry in the sun.”)  Their territory is the Atlantic and Gulf costs from North Carolina to Texas and in the Mississippi Valley north to Arkansas and Tennessee and south to South America. You may have guessed this species is my favorite. 
 
 
 
 

 

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owl2-8-0092.jpgducks2-8-0561.jpgThe joys of living in Florida! The beautiful hooded merganser duck wintered in our pond this year. They are found as far north as Alaska, Manitoba and Nova Scotia. We had eleven at one time, but they seem to be heading back home now. When I went to check on them late yesterday afternoon none were in sight, but I caught on camera one of our beautiful resident birds, a barred owl. He flew by me not just silently, but with an absence of sound, a white noise in flight. He was not at all skittish about posing for the camera as I came within feet of him and even used the flash, as it was getting dark.

Our little acre would never be called manicured, but it is home to so many critters. In fact, we are a designated Backyard Wildlife Habitat. If you’d like a little Zippity Doo Da in your life, you might think about certifying your property. It is a simple thing to do and brings great rewards.

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