Far Flying Ducks and Their Allies

Black-bellied Whistling Ducks forming V by Lee

I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

“Who are these who fly like a cloud, And like doves to their roosts?” (Isaiah 60:8 NKJV)

Yep! That’s what they have been doing. Flying right off the pages. I am still working away trying to fix my broken links. It is time consuming, but maybe the new reworked Bird Family pages will be easier to work with.

As you know, from the last few posts, I have been fixing missing birds, photographers, songs, etc:

Mallard Duck army marching (I know it’s not a King, but it’s cute) ©WikiC

Today, a decision was made to rework ALL the Family Bird Pages. Hopefully, all of the pages listed below are error free. [Famous Last Words] These are in the new format. I wasn’t doing too bad until the Ducks pages were checked. 131 of them had taken off. Whew! I think most of them came back safely, especially because the hunters are out and about. The PLAN is to continue through the family pages one at a time. If you should find any escaped birds, would you try to SHOO them back this way??

Updated Family Pages

Stay Tuned!

Tickle Me Tuesday – Birds and Ice

Geese on Ice ©Pixabay

Geese on Ice ©Pixabay

He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? (Psalms 147:17KJV)”From the breath of God ice is made, And the expanse of the waters is frozen. (Job 37:10 NASB)

Still laughing as I am typing this blog. Remembered a video several years back of birds landing on ice. I found it and two more. Trust you enjoy them and get a good chuckle for the day.

Landing on Ice

Penguin slips and falls – makes a funny sound

Penguins on an iceberg (funny)

On a more serious note, I found this article about how birds can die from the ice. It can trap them or cause them to not be able to take off.

Not Spring-like Yet – Ducks and the Ice, Oh My!


More Tickle Me Tuesdays:

Tickle Me Tuesday – For the Birds

Tickle Me Tuesday – Bird of Paradise

Tickle Me Tuesday – Top Funny Bird Video

Tickle Me Tuesday,” Challenge by Sandra Connor

Wordless Birds



True Duck Story – From an e-Mail

I received this from a friend and it was too good not to share.

This is a really neat story.

True duck story – San Antonio , Texas – Bravo something really cute happened this week. Michael R. Is an accounting clerk at Frost Bank and works there in a second story office. Several weeks ago, he watched a mother duck choose the concrete awning outside his window as the unlikely place to build a nest above the sidewalk. The mallard laid ten eggs in a nest in the corner of the planter that is perched over 10 feet in the air. She dutifully kept the eggs warm for weeks, and Monday afternoon all of her ten ducklings hatched.

Duck Story 1

Michael worried all night how the momma duck was going to get those babies safely off their perch in a busy, downtown, urban environment to take to water, which typically happens in the first 48 hours of a duck hatching. Tuesday morning, Michael watched the mother duck encourage her babies to the edge of the perch with the intent to show them how to jump off. Office work came to a standstill as everyone gathered to watch.

The mother flew down below and started quacking to her babies above. In disbelief Michael watched as the first fuzzy newborn trustingly toddled to the edge and astonishingly leapt into thin air, crashing onto the cement below. Michael couldn’t stand to watch this risky effort nine more times! He dashed out of his office and ran down the stairs to the sidewalk where the first obedient duckling, near its mother, was resting in a stupor after the near-fatal fall. Michael stood out of sight under the awning-planter, ready to help.

As the second one took the plunge, Michael jumped forward and caught it with his bare hands before it hit the concrete. Safe and sound, he set it down it by its momma and the other stunned sibling, still recovering from that painful leap. (The momma must have sensed that Michael was trying to help her babies.)

One by one the babies continued to jump.. Each time Michael hid under the awning just to reach out in the nick of time as the duckling made its free fall. At the scene the busy downtown sidewalk traffic came to a standstill. Time after time, Michael was able to catch the remaining eight and set them by their approving mother.

At this point Michael realized the duck family had only made part of its dangerous journey. They had two full blocks to walk across traffic, crosswalks, curbs and past pedestrians to get to the closest open water, the San Antonio River , site of the famed “River Walk.” The onlooking office secretaries and several San Antonio police officers joined in. An empty copy-paper box was brought to collect the babies. They carefully corralled them, with the mother’s approval, and loaded them in the container.. Michael held the box low enough for the mom to see her Brood. He then slowly navigated through the downtown streets toward the San Antonio River . The mother waddled behind and kept her babies in sight, all the way.

As they reached the river, the mother took over and passed him, jumping in the river and quacking loudly. At the water’s edge, Michael tipped the box and helped shepherd the babies toward the water and to the waiting mother after their adventurous ride.

All ten darling ducklings safely made it into the water and paddled up snugly to momma. Michael said the mom swam in circles, looking back toward the beaming bank bookkeeper, and proudly quacking.

At last, all present and accounted for: “We’re all together again. We’re here! We’re here!”

And here’s a family portrait before they head outward to further adventures….

Like all of us in the big times of our life, they never could have made it alone without lots of helping hands. I think it gives the name of San Antonio ‘s famous “River Walk” a whole new meaning! Maybe you will want to share this story with others. It’s too good to lose! Live honestly, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly & Leave the rest to God.

Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – II

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) by Dan at Zoo Miami

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) by Dan at Zoo Miami

In Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I our trip their was introduced. Now to continue with our adventure there. I am still sorting photos, but I have most of the water birds figured out.

First, here are two quotes about the aviary from Zoo Miami’s website. “Brilliantly colored pheasants, hornbills, pigeons and many other birds show off their shimmering, iridescent plumage in a large, lush free-flight enclosure that provides them with unencumbered flight. Tiny and large birds swoop overhead, perch on branches and even strut and stroll right by visitors. The air is alive with bird activity, beautiful birdsongs, trickling brooks and waterfalls.” They said that so much better than I could, but it is so true.

“The bird collection is quite diverse with rare, colorful species that sing attractive songs and make unusual vocalizations. Some of the birds are cranes, rails, mynahs, parrots, pheasants, thrushes, fruit-pigeons, barbets and woodpeckers. The birds, vastly different in size, range from 10-gram (.35 oz) Japanese white-eyes to 7000-gram (15.4 lb) sarus cranes…  Many of these species are rare in zoo collections, and some can only be seen at Zoo Miami as part of our participation in wildlife conservation breeding initiatives such as the Species Survival Program.”

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) Zoo Miami by Lee

Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) Zoo Miami by Lee

Strut some of them do! I’ll save the cranes for another article, but the Ruddy and Raja Shelducks were strolling all around. The Plumed Whistling Duck was checking out the entry door. Maybe looking for a way out or to see if the next visitors were on the way. Why would he want to leave such a fantastic surrounding?

Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) Zoo Miami by Lee

Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) Zoo Miami by Lee

Just in the Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family there were 18 species that we were able to see and photograph. In addition there were 6 members of that family we found around the zoo (Amazon & Beyond and Cloud Forrest). Some we have seen previously, but most were ones not seen by us. Here is a list of those with a link to a photo and a slide show at the bottom. I am starting with these because they are the some of the first you encounter when you enter the aviary. By wandering around on the paths you actually arrive at three different heights with different bird species hanging out. More on that later.

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) Zoo Miami by Lee

Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) Zoo Miami by Lee

The Bar-headed Goose’s picture was selected because of its behavior. I am featuring it because the Bar-headed Goose is thought to be one of the world’s highest flying birds, having been heard flying across Mount Makalu (the fifth highest mountain on earth at 8,481 metres (27,825 ft)) and apparently seen over Mount Everest (8,848 metres (29,029 ft), although this is a second hand report). This incredibly demanding migration has long puzzled physiologists and naturalists: “there must be a good explanation for why the birds fly to the extreme altitudes […] particularly since there are passes through the Himalaya at lower altitudes, and which are used by other migrating bird species” quoted from Black & Tenney (1980). In fact bar-headed geese is now believed that they do take the high passes through the mountains. The challenging northward migration from lowland India to breed in the summer on the Tibetan Plateau is undertaken in stages, with the flight across the Himalaya (from sea-level) being undertaken non-stop in as little as seven hours. Surprisingly, despite predictable tail winds that blow up the Himalayas (in the same direction of travel as the geese), bar-headed geese spurn these winds, waiting for them to die down overnight, when they then undertake the greatest rates of climbing flight ever recorded for a bird, and sustain these climbs rates for hours on end.

The Bar-headed Goose is known to be well equipped for this incredibly challenging migration. It has a slightly larger wing area for its weight than other geese, which is believed to help the goose fly at high altitudes. Studies have found that they breathe more deeply and efficiently under low oxygen conditions. The haemoglobin of their blood has a higher oxygen affinity than that of other geese. Again we see a well designed avian creation by its Creator. The Lord knew the conditions and heights it would need to cross to reach the feeding grounds provided for it.

Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. (Genesis 1:30 NKJV)

I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. (Psalms 50:11 NKJV)

The Bar-headed Goose migrates over the Himalayas to spend the winter in parts of India (from Assam to as far south as Tamil Nadu. The winter habitat of the Bar-headed Goose is cultivated fields, where it feeds on barley, rice and wheat, and may damage crops. Birds from Kyrgyzstan have been noted to stopover in western Tibet and southern Tajikistan for 20 to 30 days before migrating further south. Some birds may show high wintering site fidelity.

The bird is pale grey and is easily distinguished from any of the other grey geese of the genus Anser by the black bars on its head. It is also much paler than the other geese in this genus. In flight, its call is a typical goose honking. The adult is 71–76 centimetres (28–30 in) and weighs 1.87–3.2 kilograms (4.1–7.1 lb). (Wikipedia)

One more tale to tell. The Common Merganser had just eaten and he started flipping his feet like crazy. He was splashing water everywhere. I suppose he was happy. I finally turned the video on and caught part of it. He even chased the White-headed Duck around.


The name in (parenthesis) at the front is the name the zoo uses. I use the I.O.C. World Bird Names here on the blog. These are in taxonomic order.

White-faced Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna viduata) Amazon and Beyond
Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) – Dan’s
(Javan) Lesser Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna javanica) – Dan’s
Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) – Dan’s
Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)
Coscoroba Swan (Coscoroba coscoroba) Amazon and Beyond
Raja Shelduck (Tadorna radjah) – Dan’s
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) – Dan’s
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) – Male – Dan’s
(Pygmy Goose) Cotton Pygmy Goose (Nettapus coromandelianus)
Ringed Teal (Callonetta leucophrys) Male – Female – Dan’s Amazon and Beyond
Bronze-winged Duck (Speculanas specularis) Sign (Saw, but no photo) Amazon and Beyond
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) (Saw, but no photo)
Blue-winged Teal Female (I think) – Dan’s Amazon and Beyond
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) Dan’s
Sunda Teal (Anas gibberifrons)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) (proof)
White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) Amazon and Beyond
Baikal Teal (Anas formosa)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) – Dan’s
(Common White Eye) Ferruginous (Aythya myroca) – Dan’s
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) Male – Female – Dan’s
Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) Male – Female & young – Dan’s
White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala)

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Zoo Miami’s Wings of Asia – Wow! – I

Bar-headed Goose – Wikipedia

Zoo Miami – Miami, Florida

Wings of Asia – Aviary

Anatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family

Ducks, Geese, Swans

Web-footed and water-loving, this large, diverse, and gregarious group of birds is a favorite of birders and nonbirders alike.


Back to the Peterson Field Guide Video Series
“Ducks, Geese, Swans” Video is from petersonfieldguides at YouTube

See Also:

Birds of the Bible – Swan