Medium-sized diving duck
Blue-gray bill with pale band near black tip
Red head and neck
Black breast and rear end
Female and juveniles
Brown head and body
Darker bill than male
Listen to its call.
I spotted this male Redhead while walking around Elk Lake this week. It was swimming along with an assortment of other ducks. Initially, I thought it was a Canvasback but its bill was shorter and the color was wrong. Its head was also a different shape, much rounder than the elongated head of the Canvasback.
I read somewhere that the male Redhead's call is a cat-like meow and a deep purr. Hmmm....that must be a bit frightening for the other ducks.
Learn more about the Redhead.
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.