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Category Archives: ducks

I love birding from a boat. Especially a human-powered boat like my kayak. On quiet water, the boat moves silently and smoothly and many birds are not disturbed by its presence. I still have to be quiet and move slowly and when I do it all right, I might get the opportunity to watch and photograph birds up close. Well, up close with a telephoto lens!

This female Hooded Merganser was pretty relaxed and let me watch her as she preened her feathers on a floating log near shore. After a while she decided, enough was enough, and flew away. She may have had a nest to tend somewhere around the lake.

Female goldeneyes are always hard for me to ID. There are two kinds – Barrow’s and Common. The males are easy to separate so if I see a female and male together, I often assume they are the same species. Last week we saw two females, one with ducklings and one on her own. Looking at the All About Birds site from Cornell University, I think both of these are Barrow’s Goldeneyes. But I could be wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time.

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