Muscovy Ducklings

This month a couple of broods of Muscovy Ducks hatched along our backyard pond.  Their mothers have been proudly parading them around the neighborhood, showing them the ropes.  Unfortunately these cute little ducklings will one day grow up to look like their parents.

Juvenile Muscovy Ducks (Cairina moschata)

“Hey, Mom!”

More ducklings.

This one looks just like my daughter’s bathtub soap tray .
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Red-winged Blackbirds

Recently I have been enjoying the Red-winged Blackbirds at the Cutler Wetlands.  The males are stark black with bright red and yellow patched on their wings.  They like to cling to the cattails and belt out their lively “o-ka-leeeeee” calls.  Enjoy the photos, although the cattails turned out better than the blackbirds.

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Balancing on the cattails.

O-ka-leeeeee!

Backyard Birding – Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt

The pond behind our backyard has changed a bit over the last few weeks.  We haven’t seen any American Coots for a while, and the Ring-necked Ducks have migrated to wherever Ring-necked Ducks go for the summer.  But we have some newcomers – a few Black-necked Stilts.  These lively wading birds prance and peck through the shallows at the pond’s edge looking for beetles and tadpoles.  Their high contrast black and white markings and their bright pink legs, make them a joy to watch for both birders and non-birders alike.

Backyard Birding – Mottled Duck

Mottled Ducks

The other day my six-year-old daughter told me that she saw a new type of duck in the lake behind our yard.  She described it as medium-sized and light gold in color.  She was convinced that it was a bird we hadn’t seen before.  I asked her a few questions about it, but of course we had no idea what it was.  Today we came home to discover a pair of Mottled Ducks poking around in our back yard.

“Daddy!” My daughter exclaimed, “Those are the ducks I was telling you about.”

We both were very excited to discover something new.  They were a first for my Year List and my Life List, and I am very proud of my kid.