There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Green-winged Teal

Anas crecca

Very small dabbling duck
White-edged green patch in wings
Whitish belly
    Chestnut head
    Green ear patch
    Dark bill
    Gray flanks and back
    Buff chest with dark spotting
    White stripe on side of chest
    Buff outer undertail coverts
    Black central undertail coverts
Female: (below)  
    Mottled, light brown plumage
    White breast spotted with brown
    Strong eyeline
    Gray bill

Listen to its call.

Recently, I've become aware that my duck knowledge was sadly lacking. Although Mallards far outweight the others (both in number and size), I am amazed at the variety of ducks I've seen in the local ponds lately. They differ significantly in size, as well as colour. This one is positively tiny. I felt sorry for him, jostling for a position to receive a hand-out today. The larger ducks bullied him terribly, pushing him, chasing him and even nipping at his tail feathers. No wonder they usually stay out in the middle of the pond when I see them at Rithet's Bog, probably to avoid being intimidated by their oversized tormentors. 

Size difference: 
Green-winged Teal (front) /Mallard (back) 

Learn more about the Green-winged Teal.

Additional photos:

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