Rain fell and our reservoir will last (current analysis) until February 15. Enough water fills the cow tank so ducks feed and socialize.
The longhorn painting hangs above my daughter’s fireplace in Lubbock, Texas.
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.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.