December 28, 2005 [LINK]

Wood ducks on the pond

Wood duck After washing the car yesterday, I walked across the street to the pond at Gypsy Hill Park, and was delighted to see, amidst the dozens of Mallards and motley other ducks and geese, a beautiful, multi-colored Wood duck. I hadn't seen any there in several months, and in fact, there were two of them: a male and a female. I was surprised to hear them emit quiet squeaks rather than quacks. Wood ducks are notably smaller than Mallards, and shier as well. Indeed, when I returned today with camera in hand, they kept paddling away from me. A family was tossing bread to the ducks, in spite of the signs posted at the duck pellet vending machines urging people not to do so. Those machines help fund the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Roll mouse over the image to see the female Wood duck, which is plainer.