Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife on and around Union Bay and a higher level of harmony between humanity and nature.

(It is fine for educators and artists to use any of the photos on this blog as long as when publicly displaying the photo or related artwork the following comment is included, "The original photo sourced from http://unionbaywatch.blogspot.com".)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tufted Duck

The Tufted duck is most generally found in Europe and Asia. For some reason a few of them choose to winter in North America. I wonder if they are simply confused or if there is a risk-taking gene.

These photos are my thanks to Connie on Tweeters List who first spotted this duck from shore at the Union Bay Natural Area. Once at the UBNA the easiest way to get close to the Tufted is by searching for a half a dozen birders shielding there eyes from the sun and all looking intently off shore.
The key identifier for this bird are the feathers sticking out behind his head, somewhat like a Wood Duck. The most common activity for this duck appears to be diving to feed. This causes the tuft to become wet and lay closer to the head which can make him more difficult to spot in a crowd of birds.
On the other hand he is smaller and different than some of his companions.
In addition to diving he did find time for a couple of other activities.
Rubbing that hard to get spot.
Drying his wings.
Watching the watchers. 
Here is one more parting shot.

It looks like another beautiful day today, so if you happen to find yourself at the Union Bay Natural Area, be sure to bring yours binoculars, scope or camera and search for the Tufted Duck.

Have a super day!

Larry

PS: After posting this blog I went out to Foster Island and spotted birders at UBNA who looked just as described above. So I could not resist posting this photo. <grin>




PSS: By the way I have larger versions of the bird photos available on Smugmug.







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