Pond Birds

Posted on Saturday 8 April 2006

We are all aware that the ice went out on the Eclipse Pond and the Canada Geese were back nearly as soon as it was gone. Last Sunday the ice went out on the little pond behind the house here on East Warren Rd. As I watched, a pair of Common Mergansers landed close to the ice and started diving for fish. I love to watch them, but they can wipe out the fish population in short order. We first noticed the Mergansers in the spring of 2002 and since we didn’t know about their habits, we welcomed them – the crowd grew to an even dozen before all the fish were gone. Now a few birds come early in spring, visit briefly for a few days, then disappear for the summer.

Since Sunday several pairs of Canada Geese have visited the pond. One evening there were three pair out there at once and the challenging and posturing behaviors convinced two couples to leave. One pair stayed the night, then took off early the next morning with much honking and fanfare. A few Canadas usually visit in the spring and fall during migration.

A pair of Mallards has been here a couple times. They come in quietly, feed – sometimes for several hours, then leave. We have had Mallards visit every year for many years and they often show up from time to time during the summer months too.

On Tuesday, April 4, a new yard bird appeared on the pond – a beautiful male Wood Duck. This bird is very colorful and looks almost painted to me. He hung around most of the day Tuesday and Wednesday, put in brief appearances Thursday and Friday. I’m hoping that he will continue to use the pond during the summer. I know some people have Wood Duck nesting boxes, sounds like a great idea for next year.

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