The unidentified duck in the photograph below takes off. Upon a clue from Bill Lattrell who loves wild places (see his Wild Ramblings blog), the duck may be a Redhead (Aythya americana). Field marks from Peterson’s include the male that is gray with a black chest and round red-brown head; the bill blue with black tip. Both sexes have gray wing-stripes. I have one additional photograph of the duck as it took off from the pond.
Tentatively a Redhead duck in takeoff from pond (February 2011).
The other aspect that may be a factor in identifying the duck as Redhead is that they patter along the surface while getting underway. From the photograph above, you can see the traces of a patter? It all happened so fast when the duck took flight that I could only snap two pictures. (There is a camera feature to take rapid sequential shots that I should turned on.) The other photograph is in a previous post yesterday. It is the same duck.
In any case, if any of you have an opinion about the duck above, please comment or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Duck feedback anyone?
Since so much of our ranch is a Texas Cross Timbers habitat with one large pond, I find ducks most interesting since they have uncommon presence and seasonally come and go. I do not know with graceful skill the typing of these water creatures. I tentatively identify the duck below as Canvasback (Aythya valisineria). Peterson’s Field Guide to Western Birds states, “A very white-looking duck with a rusty-red head and neck, black breast, long blackish bill.” I am not sure and will correct my identification if anyone can discern factors I have missed. In any case, here is what I regard as a Canvasback. Please let me know in the comment section of this post or e-mail me at email@example.com or tweet @sage2m if you have an opinion. Thanks for your help and assistance.
March 17, 2011, 1:00 p.m., CDT. Wild Bill of Wild Ramblings blog has opined it may be a redhead duck. The short bill of this duck indicates something other than a Canvasback.
Tentatively a Canvasback.