Last weekend was cold and very grey but seeing this American Widgeon hanging out on a rock in Clear Creek brought a little color to the day. Even though I gave these guys a little grief for swiping food from the redheads the other day they sure are something to look at.
Looking down the Fire Hole river in YNP on a chilly grey afternoon.
If you can’t dive to the bottom of the pond to get a tasty mouthful of greens what’s a dabbling duck like this American Widgeon to do? Simple, steal it form those darn diving ducks like this Redhead. We have watched this behavior many times. The Widgeon follows the diving ducks around on the pond and when they come up they try to steal the divers catch. This time a determined Redhead got away with his mouthful of greens and we all need to eat our greens.
Continuing with what appears to have turned into duck week here on the blog I present the Buffleheads. They make a fine couple don’t they.
They usually seem to keep to the middle of the lakes around here in winter but when it gets cold and the lakes freeze over they move the the nearby creeks where we get a closer look at these amazing little ducks.
“Buffleheads are a buoyant, large-headed duck that abruptly vanishes and resurfaces as it feeds, the tiny Bufflehead spends winters bobbing in bays, estuaries, reservoirs, and lakes. Males are striking black-and white from a distance. A closer look at the head shows glossy green and purple setting off the striking white patch. Females are a subdued gray-brown with a neat white patch on the cheek. Bufflehead nest in old woodpecker holes, particularly those made by Northern Flickers, in the forests of northern North America.”
Each winter we await the arrival of the waterfowl which overwinter on the creeks in our vicinity. One of the duck species I always love to see on the creek is the diminutive Green Winged Teal which are the smallest dabbling ducks in North America. This male caught our eye the other day allowed us a few quick photographs before making his way downstream.