Wednesday, October 27, 2010

That's just ducky!

This the time of year when ducks and geese are on the move. I love to watch these birds flying or feeling safe along the edge of a pond as I was able to capture here.

The ones that make nests in my nearby beaver pond aren't quite so calm - especially with two big Labrador retrievers splashing into the water at top speed trying to catch them.

The dogs have been unsuccessful of course. Their quarry - nesting so far from humans and in the middle of a bush that is also home to feral cats, coyotes, wolves, fox and possibly a bear or two - is very alert and wary of all crashing and splashing. Even a beaver tail smack can send them into the air.

From Wikipedia: The Mallard, or Wild duck (Anas platyrhynchos[1]), probably the best-known and most recognizable of all ducks, is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and sub-tropical AmericaEuropeAsiaNew Zealand (where it is currently the most common duck species), and Australia.
The male birds have a bright green head, while the female's is light brown. The mallard lives in wetlands, eats water plants, and is gregarious. It is also migratory. The mallard is the ancestor of all domestic ducks, and can interbreed with other species of genus Anas.[2]This interbreeding is causing rarer species of ducks to become genetically diluted.

There is much more on the Mallard on the internet - I could fill pages, but I did find it fascinating that they are the ancestors of all domestic ducks.

I wonder if domestic ducks look skyward when they hear or see a flock of these ducks heading south and think they should be going too? It is that time of year when lots of creatures - two and four-legged head for warmer climes. I, on the other hand, am looking forward to winter - though I'll likely feel differently round about February!

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