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.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wood Duck

Aix sponsa

Medium-sized duck
Crested head
  • Green and purple head
  • White lines from bill to back of the crest
  • Red eyes
  • Red bill, with yellow base and dark tip
  • White line on face and neck
  • White throat 
  • White belly
  • Reddish chest with white flecks
  • White and black stripe up side of chest
  • Yellowish-gold sides
  • Black back and tail
  • Reddish-violet undertail  
  • Gray upperparts
  • White eye-ring, tapered at rear
  • Gray-brown breast with tan streaks
  • Whitish throat, belly and undertail
  • Brown sides and tail
  • Blue-gray bill with white line at base

Listen to its call.

I remember my son doing a project on these birds many years ago. So, I had no difficulty identifying them when I spied them in a nearby pond. However, I did have some difficulty taking the photos since the pond was actually in someone else's yard. Thankfully, when the homeowner opened the door to find a complete stranger standing there with a large camera, she didn't immediately phone the police. In fact, she was very friendly and accommodating. I guess birdwatching is so mainstream these days she didn't find my behaviour odd at all.  Thank goodness. I'd hate to be known as the crazy bird lady around our neighbourhood.

Learn more about the Wood Duck.

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