Friday, March 6, 2015

Waterfowl in Flight II

Okay, so he's barely flying. Like I said yesterday, they are fast! Still, it shows the beautiful pale colors of the Northern Pintail. Have you ever seen a duck with white feet? If you look at the central tail feather, you'll see how they got their name. This is a male.

The chocolate-colored head and gray bill are good field markers as is the general overall slender appearance.

The family of ducks to which the Pintail belongs are called dabbling ducks and forage by straining food through their bill. You can often see them tipped up like Mallards, which are members of the same family.

Those funny looking 'islands' in the background are actually the rhizomes of lily pads and, to have gotten so large, they have to have been there for years. The water in this area is probably almost shallow enough to stand in.

The thin line of white feathers on the back of the neck is yet another good field marker. Despite the lack of bold colors, this is a beautiful duck species. And, despite it only being February, you can see the tips of lily pad leaves ready to emerge when the weather turns warmer.

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