Banner day for waterfowl

Discussion in 'Bird' started by marlingardener, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    We had been missing our Great Blue Heron, who hadn't shown up for almost two weeks. Today we spotted it on the pond shore. While looking at it we also saw two Anhingas and 10 Shoveler ducks. We have never before had that many Shovelers at one time.
    We are taking part in the U. of Cornell's Backyard Bird Watch, and reporting species and numbers on Saturday and Sunday. If we have anything unusual, that bird shows up on Friday or Monday:(!
     
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  3. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Let's hope the birds co-operate and turn up on Saturday and Sunday for you. I've never seen an Anhinga but they look similar to cormorants I think. Amazing that you got ten Shovelers - they obviously like your pond and are telling their friends. :cool:
     
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  4. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Eileen, the Anhingas--all two of them-- showed up on Sunday. They do look like cormorants and when they are swimming they are necks with heads, the body is underwater. They dive and swim for quite a distance and then surface. Makes for interesting spotting!
    The shovelers came on Sunday also, but only seven of them. Two of the blue herons came, so we had a good number of birds and species to report to U. of Cornell. There remains a week of bird spotting and reporting to Cornell, but we continue to watch, record, and enjoy for our own entertainment!
     
  5. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Hopefully the Anhingas are a mating pair - wouldn't it be great if they bred and you saw the youngsters on your pond? Cormorants swim, and act, in the same way as they do so they must be 'related.'
    Although I do a bird count here too I watch the birds on a daily basis whenever I have some spare time. I enjoy seeing which species arrive each year and which ones are newcomers. I've noticed an increase in some but, sadly, a decline in others.
     



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  6. marlingardener

    marlingardener Strong Ash

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    Eileen, an increase in some species and a decline in others is natural. A friend of ours, with a PhD. in ornithology, has explained that population explosions and declines are cyclical and are almost impossible to predict. Mother Nature strikes a balance, but not always in just one year.
    If the anhingas are a mating pair, we will try to get photos of the offspring.
    Off-topic, we saw our first Meadowlarks arrive today! They are pecking and wandering around the orchard area. They can be destructive to crops, but we enjoy seeing them here.
     
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  7. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    We have woodpigeons that are destructive to crops here Jane. Sometimes you can see a few hundred at one time in farmers' fields. I know many farmers shoot them as they eat all the newly sown grain.
    The once common house sparrow is now declining in numbers in many countries as are starlings. I used to get flocks of both species in my garden but now I see only two or three of each. It's been more than five years since I saw either in large numbers.
     
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