Saturday, January 3, 2009
Below are a few more photos I took while attending the Festival of the Cranes. These photos were taken at the pond at New Mexico Tech. A couple posts ago I mentioned that I like American wigeons. I not only like their calls, but also like their coloring, both plumage and their bills. Even in their fall plumage these birds are still attractive. I like the behavior description Don and Lillian Stokes give in their field guide. It says: "As early arrivals on their southern wintering grounds, they immediately begin courtship, which lasts until March. ... During courtship, competing males repeatedly give whistling calls..." I guess that's why I kept hearing so many of them calling; I didn't realize they were beginning their courtship. Also funny, they aren't in their breeding plumage yet.
Also seen in the pond were a couple of ring-necked ducks. I find this another attractive duck, and another duck with a multi-colored bill. And you sure can't miss their yellow eyes!
Waddling around on the campus near the pond were several hybrid ducks and geese. Here is one I found interesting with its greenish head and blackish body, and a nondescript bill.
Another unusual looking duck - I think it was a duck. The all white color is quite striking and then it has a bright orange bill. Isn't that a typical color (bill) for mallards? I'm fairly certain it was not leucistic, but nonetheless a nice looking duck.
And here is another photo of another American wigeon. At first I thought this one was a female, but a closer look makes me think this is a male. I wonder if it is a first or second year male since its coloring isn't as striking as the first photo I posted.