Return of the Wood Ducks!

A female wood duck (circled) showed up at Nature Boardwalk today. She was hanging out with a large congregation of Canada geese and mallards near the island in the center of the pond. This is the first wood duck I’ve seen at Nature Boardwalk in 2011. We’re located in the breeding range for wood ducks, so this is a sign that spring is nearly here!

I’ll be watching to see if other wood ducks join her in the coming days. You can tell the female wood duck apart from female mallards by her bright-white eye ring, which looks like a thick line of white eyeliner. She is also quite petite when compared to the female mallards.

Other birds that made their way to the boardwalk today included an American coot (circled), which also paddled about with the group of mallards and Canada geese near the pond’s island. There was also a large mixed flock of sparrows, chickadees, and dark-eyed juncos.

Now is a great time to go bird-watching at Nature Boardwalk, as we’re seeing an exciting array of migrants and breeding birds at the site. I'm looking forward to finding out what will show up next!

Vicky Hunt

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