Here’s the latest For the Birds column, which runs weekly in The Hour (Norwalk, Conn.) and The Keene (NH) Sentinel.
The Mallards were scattered along the grass and I didn’t think twice about it. I’m used to Mallards being tame and not walking away, or even flinching, when someone draws near.
With many Mallards, even with babies in tow, they show little or no fear of humans. In fact, many even welcome the approach of humans as the ducks hope to get some food.
But in this particular flock of ducks, two females and their babies quickly retreated to the nearby pond. These ducks weren’t Mallards at all, but rather they were Wood Ducks. Two female Wood Ducks and their babies were “hanging out” with the Mallards in the grass near the pond before I pulled into the parking lot.
While the Mallards in the group, which consisted of most of the birds, did not even bother to wake up from their midday nap, the Wood Ducks’ instincts told them to retreat.
But the scene was still extremely surprising to me. First of all, you don’t always see Wood Ducks hanging out with Mallards. And, second of all, Continue reading