Wood Duck among Black-bellied Whistling Ducks by Lee
Yesterday we added a new bird to our backyard list. He tried to hide, but with a look like that, it’s hard to do. So finally, he came out of hiding. Some of those Whistling Ducks don’t seem to be too happy with him being there. [I was very happy! :) ]
Wood Duck in our yard. 1-17-22
We’ve written about this beautiful bird before, but usually, we have seen them over in Lakeland on their lakes. So, this was a treat to be able to have him visit us.
When I see this duck, I think about how the Lord when he created these Avian Wonders must have had a delight in decorating this Wood Duck. What clear lines!
Wood Duck’s Crested Head and Back
I have to admit that the Duck had a bit of an attitude. While he was strutting around, ever so often he would throw his head like he was trying to flip that long “bonnet” of his. [my term] I tried to capture it on video, but I was only able to capture it once.
Several verses came to mind about this encounter with our beautiful duck:
The first photo, where he was sort of hidden behind the others.
“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 KJV)
We should not be afraid to let our Christianity be seen. Also, the look on the faces reminds me of how some people react to us when we do accept the Lord as our Savior.
My most favorite duck is the Wood Duck. To me, it seems as if someone took a paintbrush and created such a beautiful Avian Wonder. Of course, that Creator was the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Great Creator. So, the Wood Duck is our first Paintbrush Bird to start off another new Series. Paintbrush Birds
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:1-3 KJV)
This picture that Dan took at Lake Hollingsworth, in Lakeland, Florida, is real. I was right there beside Dan when we took photos. Of course, his turned out the best, and it is not a painting.
Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee at Lake Hollingsworth
When we watch the birds, I have to just pause in awe at colors and designs of the birds. Everywhere we look, if our eyes are truly open, we can see that these Avian Wonders just didn’t evolve.
“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-22 NKJV)
The animals, birds, fish, and even humans are under the curse now, but what might the originally created have looked like? Wow! I WOW! now when I see the beauty that is around us even now. I also see the scars from the fall around also.
Back to this series I’m starting. The desire is to showcase some of these birds that look like they were “hand-painted.” Also, after finding similar post, more information will be given about the bird itself. Trust you enjoy these efforts.
Wood Ducks belong to the Anatidae Family Here is a previous video from the Petersen Birding videos here. It is definitely worth watching. It provides quite a lot of information about this beautifully created Wood Duck.
Here are a few close ups of the Wood Duck. You decide about the “Painter!”
Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth
Mr and Mrs Wood Duck by Lee
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Bob-Nan
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Ray
Wood Duck Brevard Zoo by Lee
Wood Duck in backyard by Lee
I just realized while viewing Ray’s Wood Duck that I have the five colors I need to make another Wordless Bird. Red, Yellow, Black, White and Green.
While Homo sapiens are self-isolating in coronavirus crisis mode, the rest of species on this planet seem to be boldly moving ahead with the vernal equinox as scheduled. As I briefly, and timidly, left the confines of my sterile bunker this morning for a short walk, I was outraged to see so many critters blatantly ignoring the shelter-in-place mandates!
In less than an hour I counted 27 different bird species and three turtles breaking curfew… more than 50 individuals! Even the normally reclusive Wood Ducks had the audacity to come into plain view on the open pond.
It would almost appear that the God of creation has everything under control, although we humans feel like things are out of control. Is that even possible?
Psalm 11:1 In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?
I hope you enjoyed this light-hearted commentary on the current events, and are comforted by the photos of God’s beautiful creation that exists right outside our back doors! Even if you can’t go far, get out and enjoy our Creator’s works right in your little plot of land.
Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation. — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.
Jesus said: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink . . . Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, . . . your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26)
For ushering in this year of our Lord 2020, below follows the eighth installment of alphabet-illustrating birds of the world, as part of this new series (“Birds Are Wonderful — and Some Are a Little Weird“*). The letter V is illustrated by Vasa Parrot, Vireos, and Vultures. The letter W illustrated by Wood Duck, Waxwings, and Whinchat. The letter Xillustrated by Xavier’s Greenbul, Xingus Scale-backed Antbird, and Xantus’s Hummingbird.
“V” BIRDS: Vasa Parrot, Vireos, and Vultures.
“W” BIRDS: Wood Duck, Waxwings, and Whinchat.
“X” BIRDS: Xavier’s Greenbul, Xingus Scale-backed Antbird, and Xantus’s Hummingbird.
Birds are truly wonderful — some are gracefully beautiful, like Xantus’s Hummingbird, — and some, like the Vultures, are fascinatingly unusual, if not also a little weird! (Stay tuned for more, D.v.)
* Quoting from “Birds Are Wonderful, and Some Are a Little Weird”, (c) AD2019 James J. S. Johnson [used here by permission].
Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NKJV)
Last week Dan and I actually got to do a little birdwatching. My back has been improving, but not healed. After 12 therapy sessions, I felt brave enough to see what was going on at Lake Morton. It is in Lakeland, Florida and you can park across the street from the lake. Easy walk for me.
Needless to say, I was excited about getting out birdwatching, but the birds had other ideas. There were very few birds other than the normal residents hanging around for a hand out. Guess the winter birds haven’t arrived yet. That top pictures show the lack of birds on the lake.
Momma Duck at Lake Morton by Lee Close-up
“If you happen to come upon a bird’s nest along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall certainly let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, in order that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.” (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 NASB)
Aflac is not the name of this domestic Peking/Mallard Duck. She is pretty though she is a hybrid. She was busy working on her nest and you can see some of the things she was adding below.
Aflac Momma Duck at Lake Morton by Lee Close-up of nest material
Other interesting birds were some immature White Ibises, an immature Limpkin and some Wood Ducks. Like I said, it was rather quiet.
Immature White Ibis at Lake Morton by Lee
Limpkin Juvenile at Lake Morton by Lee
Wood Duck at Lake Morton by Lee
Any day we can go birdwatching is always enjoyable. There is usually something that is there to see. Life is not made up of big events all the time, just the everyday normal sights. When we do get to see special birds or whatever, then that makes them extra nice.
Here is a video of that Wood Duck and his mate bouncing around in the water. Trust you don’t get seasick. They seem to have been created to handle floating and bobbing well.
The water prevailed and increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. (Genesis 7:18 NASB)
Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. (Matthew 5:36 KJV)
There are only two rules for this challenge:
1. On 5 consecutive days, create a post using either a past or recent photo in B&W.
2. Each day invite another blog friend to join in the fun.
My second nomination is Sukanya Ramanujan, because she accepted the challenge and she has great photos. She is from Chennai, India (Same town a j mithra was from) She is a “multi-lingual professional with varied interests such as reading, travelling, music and photography.” Also check out her photos.
A great many people think that this is the most beautiful bird of North America. It is called Wood Duck because it usually makes its nest in the hollow of a tree that overhangs the water. If it can find a squirrel’s or woodpecker’s hole in some stump or tree, there it is sure to nest.
A gentleman who delighted in watching the Wood Duck, tells about one that built her nest in the hollow of a tree that hung over the water. He was anxious to see how the little ones, when hatched, would get down.
In a few days he knew that the ducklings were out, for he could hear their pee, pee, pee. They came to the edge of the nest, one by one, and tumbled out into the water.
You know a duck can swim as soon as it comes out of the egg.
Sometimes the nest is in the hollow of a tree that is a short distance from the water.
Now how do you suppose the ducklings get there as they do?
If the nest is not far from the ground, the mother bird lets them drop from it on the dried grass and leaves under the tree. She then carries them in her bill, one by one, to the water and back to the nest.
If the nest should be far from the ground, she carries them down one by one.
This same gentleman says that he once saw a Wood Duck carry down thirteen little ones in less than ten minutes. She took them in her bill by the back of the neck or the wing.
When they are a few days old she needs only to lead the way and the little ones will follow.
The Wood Duck is also called Summer Duck. This is because it does not stay with us during the winter, as most ducks do.
It goes south to spend the winter and comes back north early in the spring.
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) by Dan
THE WOOD DUCK.
UITE the most beautiful of the native Ducks, with a a richness of plumage which gives it a bridal or festive appearance, this bird is specifically named Spousa, which means betrothed. It is also called Summer Duck, Bridal Duck, Wood Widgeon, Acorn Duck and Tree Duck.
It is a fresh water fowl, and exclusively so in the selection of its nesting haunts. It inhabits the whole of temperate North America, north to the fur countries, and is found in Cuba and sometimes in Europe. Its favorite haunts are wooded bottom-lands, where it frequents the streams and ponds, nesting in hollows of the largest trees. Sometimes a hole in a horizontal limb is chosen that seems too small to hold the Duck’s plump body, and occasionally it makes use of the hole of an Owl or Woodpecker, the entrance to which has been enlarged by decay.
Wilson visited a tree containing a nest of a Wood or Summer Duck, on the banks of Tuckahoe river, New Jersey. The tree stood on a declivity twenty yards from the water, and in its hollow and broken top, about six feet down, on the soft decayed wood were thirteen eggs covered with down from the mother’s breast. The eggs were of an exact oval shape, the surface smooth and fine grained, of a yellowish color resembling old polished ivory. This tree had been occupied by the same pair, during nesting time, for four successive years. The female had been seen to carry down from the nest thirteen young, one by one, in less than ten minutes. She caught them in her bill by the wing or back of the neck, landed them safely at the foot of the tree, and finally led them to the water. If the nest be directly over the water, the little birds as soon as hatched drop into the water, breaking their fall by extending their wings.
Many stories are told of their attachment to their nesting places. For several years one observer saw a pair of Wood Ducks make their nest in the hollow of a hickory which stood on the bank, half a dozen yards from a river. In preparing to dam the river near this point, in order to supply water to a neighboring city, the course of the river was diverted, leaving the old bed an eighth of a mile behind, notwithstanding which the ducks bred in the old place, the female undaunted by the distance which she would have to travel to lead her brood to the water.
While the females are laying, and afterwards when sitting, the male usually perches on an adjoining limb and keeps watch. The common note of the drake is peet-peet, and when standing sentinel, if apprehending danger, he makes a noise not unlike the crowing of a young cock, oe-eek. The drake does not assist in sitting on the eggs, and the female is left in the lurch in the same manner as the Partridge.
The Wood Duck has been repeatedly tamed and partially domesticated. It feeds freely on corn meal soaked in water, and as it grows, catches flies with great dexterity.
WOOD DUCK.—Aix sponsa. Coloring varied; most beautiful of ducks. Other names: “Summer Duck,” “Bridal Duck,” “Wood Widgeon,” “Tree Duck.”
Range—North America. Breeds from Florida to Hudson’s Bay; winters south.
Nest—Made of grasses, usually placed in a hole in tree or stump.
Eggs—Eight to fourteen; pale, buffy white.
Wood Duck by Dan at Lake Hollingsworth
The Wood Duck is in theAnatidae – Ducks, Geese & Swans Family. The Aix genus includes the Wood Duck and also the beautifulMandarin Duck(Aix galericulata). “The adult male has distinctive multicoloured iridescent plumage and red eyes,with a distinctive white flare down the neck. The female, less colourful, has a white eye-ring and a whitish throat. Both adults have crested heads.” When the male is in non-breeding plumage the colors are more like the female, but with some differences. Here is a photo taken yesterday at Lake Morton of a male Wood Duck.
Wood Duck Male Lake Morton 8-3-12
Here is a picture of the female I also photographed yesterday.
Wood Duck Female Lake Morton 8-3-12
The male’s call is a rising whistle, “jeeeeee”; the females utter a drawn-out, rising squeal, “oo-eek,” when flushed, and a sharp “cr-r-ek, cr-e-ek” for an alarm call.
Their breeding habitat is wooded swamps, shallow lakes, marshes or ponds, and creeks in eastern North America, the west coast of the United States and western Mexico. They usually nest in cavities in trees close to water, although they will take advantage of nesting boxes in wetland locations if available. Females line their nests with feathers and other soft materials, and the elevation provides some protection from predators. Unlike most other ducks, the Wood Duck has sharp claws for perching in trees and can, in southern regions, produce two broods in a single season—the only North American duck that can do so.
The population of the Wood Duck was in serious decline in the late 19th century as a result of severe habitat loss and market hunting both for meat and plumage for the ladies’ hat market in Europe. By the beginning of the 20th century Wood Ducks had virtually disappeared from much of their former range. In response to the Migratory Bird Treaty established in 1916 and enactment of the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, wood duck populations began to recover slowly. By ending unregulated hunting and taking measures to protect remaining habitat, wood duck populations began to rebound in the 1920s. The development of the artificial nesting box in the 1930s gave an additional boost to Wood Duck production.
Landowners as well as park and refuge managers can encourage Wood Ducks by building Wood Duck nest boxes near lakes, ponds, and streams. Fulda, Minnesota has adopted the Wood Duck as an unofficial mascot, and a large number of nest boxes can be found in the area.
Expanding North American Beaver populations throughout the Wood Duck’s range have also helped the population rebound as beavers create an ideal forested wetland habitat for Wood Ducks.
The above article is the first article in the monthly serial that was started in January 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.