Ducks are a Winter Treat

We are fortunate, here on Dewees, to have this fabulous managed wetland; the Impoundment.  In the winter, lots of ducks are attracted to the shallow feeding zone.  Some of our most common ducks are the tiny Pied-Billed Grebes, and the flashy Hooded Mergansers.  But look carefully, there are lots of others mixed in.  Over Thanksgiving, in a 15 minute period, I saw an American Coot, a group of Buffleheads, a Greater Scaup (I think– I am still not sure about this one) and a Hooded Merganser.

Merganser, Scaup (?) and Bufflehead
Scaup? I am willing to consider Canvasback, but I don't think it is big enough.

The smaller Buffleheads are fascinating to watch dive.  I made a quick video to show the action of their diving and resurfacing– the whole video is in real time (it’s only a minute and a half long) but I slowed down the action at the end so we can see the way the Bufflehead dives.  Click here to watch the video.  All you birders, feel free to weigh in on my ID’s.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Melinda Nutter


    Thanks for the names of the small ducks that I am seeing of my porch. You are doing a great job with identifying the many birds on our wonderful island.


  2. Cathy Miller

    Hi Judy.

    The duck in question is most certainly a scaup — either lesser or greater. You can tell by the profile of the head that it cannot be a canvasback. If you look at your field guide, you will see that the canvasback, a larger duck, seems to have a ski slope beak descending from the midway point of it’s head. . Whether it is a lesser or a greater scaup, ouch, that is ID that I struggle with…

    Nice posts! And nice pics! Sorry to have missed seeing you the SAturday after Thanksgiving.


  3. Dershie mcdevitt

    I loved the slowdown…I watch these guys on our pond a lot but never got “the move” before as always, thanks for keeping us in touch with the wonders of Dewees

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