For the Birds: Wood ducks in the trees — another first

Here is the latest For the Birds column, which runs in several New England newspapers.

Photo by Chris Bosak Male wood duck.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Male wood duck.

No matter how long you’ve been at it, birdwatching always presents new firsts.

This latest first happened to take place right in my backyard. I’ve watched videos and seen photographs of wood ducks perched in trees before, but I’ve never witnessed it myself. I’ve seen plenty of wood ducks on the water and even under people’s birdfeeders, but never perched high in trees before.

I came close once. I was canoeing within the Bashakill Wildlife Management Area in New York years ago and dozens, maybe even hundreds, of wood ducks could be seen and heard in the distance. I focused my binoculars on a dead tree about 100 yards away and saw a huge gathering of these handsome ducks. Most of them were in the water, but a few of them perched on the snag’s low-hanging branches.

Photo by Chris Bosak A Wood Duck mother swims with one of her babies at Woods Ponds in Norwalk, Conn., spring 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Wood Duck mother swims with one of her babies at Woods Ponds in Norwalk, Conn., spring 2016.

I don’t count this as having seen them perched in trees because the dead, leafless tree was more an extension of the water than anything.

The other day, though, I walked out of the sunroom and onto the deck to fill the feeders. As the door closed behind me I heard the unmistakable “oo-eek, oo-eek” call of a wood duck coming from a tall oak in the backyard.

Then I noticed two ducks flush from the tree and head into the woods. It was a male and female and they made a big circle weaving through the trees and came back to the large oak. A very cool first, especially since it took place in the backyard.

Despite the proliferation of wood duck boxes on the edges of ponds, many wood Continue reading

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One more Wood Duck photo (I promise)

Photo by Chris Bosak A female Wood Duck swims at Wood's Pond in Norwalk, spring 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A female Wood Duck swims at Wood’s Pond in Norwalk, spring 2016.

I’ve already done two posts about the Wood Ducks I saw the other day. Here’s one more of a female Wood Duck. They are beautiful in their own right, even if the male Wood Ducks grab all the attention with their fancy plumage.

Wood Ducks in the snow

Photo by Chris Bosak Wood Duck drakes swims at Woods Pond in Norwalk, Conn., during an early April snow fall, 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
Wood Duck drakes swims at Woods Pond in Norwalk, Conn., during an early April snow fall, 2016.

Another early-morning snow fall swept through parts of New England on Monday morning. Many people, I’m sure, cringed at the sight of more snow. As usual, my thoughts turned to photographing birds in the snow. It was an especially dark morning, but I managed to find and shoot some Wood Ducks at Woods Pond in Norwalk, Conn. Wood Ducks are Continue reading