Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden III

I’m taking a duck class! Thanks to Audubon, I have access to expert guidance to learn about birds. It’s incredibly rewarding to learn what to focus my attention on when in the field. Learning field marks is the key to telling all those bunches of feathers apart from one another.

It was a sunny field trip to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.

Duck Class

I’ve learned about a new domestic duck, the Call Duck. Call ducks were originally called Coy or Decoy Ducks from the Dutch word de kooi meaning ‘trap.’ And that’s precisely what they were used for. Hunters would set out Call Ducks to lure target birds then funnel them in to their demise. According to Wiki, the use of Call Ducks in the U.S. for hunting was permanently banned in 1935 because it resulted in over-harvest. Now, Call Ducks are primarily pets or exhibition birds or ‘traps’ for beginner birders who think they’re mallards.

The variety at CSRG look like mini-mallards.

Call Duck

Not the greatest comparison-photo below, but check out the difference in bill size. The Mallard on the left’s bill is much larger than the Call Duck’s bill (bottom-center). Update: Thanks to Laura’s keen eye, the left mallard has been identified as a possible hybrid due to the lack of typical brown chest, so I attached the original photo to include a true mallard in the upper right corner. So now there’s three different “mallards”! Duck madness!

The sunny day at the park brought out the iridescence in many of the birds.

Male Wood Duck

Male Wood Duck

Female Wood Duck

Female Wood Duck

Bufflehead

Male and Female Bufflehead

Female Wood Duck

Female Wood Duck

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

Look at the size of those Carp!

Look at the size of those Carp!

Male Lesser Scaup

Male Lesser Scaup

Female Lesser Scaup

Female Lesser Scaup

My buddy the Hybrid Canada Goose

My buddy the Hybrid Canada Goose

These pictures of the Red-winged Blackbird are my favorite of the day.

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

Red-winged Blackbird

It reminds me of my first picture of a Red-winged Blackbird this year at Whitaker Ponds. What is that fuzzy dark bird shape? Thank goodness for the new camera.

Red-winged Blackbird

A nice surprise flew over our heads at the gardens. Eventually we caught a visual of the Green Heron across Crystal Springs Lake! A new bird for me (#90!).

Green Heron

Green Heron

Thus ends another glorious visit to the Rhododendron Gardens.

Tweets and chirps,

Audrey

0 thoughts on “Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden III

  1. I love your adoration of the call duck. I noticed in the comparison shot that the wild mallard lacks a brown chest, so now we have to question its heritage! Will these hybrids never cease ? Dawson Creek should be good fun..,and I hope some Ring-necks and Teal will show up.

  2. Crystal Springs is such a good place to learn ducks. Laura is the best too! If you get to the Beaverton area, be sure to check out Commonwealth Lake. Talk about Green Herons!!!

  3. Pingback: Birdathon 2015 | Tweets and Chirps

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