Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Duke Ducks: Part 7 - North American Wood Duck

In a rare turn of events, I'm putting up two consecutive Duke ducks posts. Today I would like to show off some pictures of the North American Wood Duck. This is one of my favorites. Both the male and female have beautiful plumage, although the male's is a bit more colorful. Here is a picture of the male and female together and then close up.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of the male.

Here's a closeup of the female.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Duke Ducks: Part 6 - Hooded Merganser

For this installation, I'm showing off the Hooded Merganser, a small but striking bird. The male has different plumage based on whether it is breeding season or not. The female keeps the same plumage year-round. Here is a stark contrast for the male (breeding plumage on the left, non-breeding on the right)

Here is a female and then a female swimming away.

The Hooded Mergansers at Duke Gardens seem to be fairly sociable, but most birds are when it comes to free food. They are pretty adept swimmers above and below the water. I have seen them dive for food and come up some yards away. It's quite a sight when compared with the basic dabbling that mallards do.