|Pond Gets Busy|
|Tiny Ducks, Big Heads|
|Female Has a White Cheek|
|Hooded Merganser and Bufflehead (Both Males)|
|Smallest Ducks on the Pond|
The ice is gone and the ducks have returned. Blue Heron came back and I swooned, even writing him a poem. I never write poems. Call me unstable at the moment--I have bird fever. I'm pondering where to put up ladders to improve my view of the ducks and tromping all over the horse pastures with camera, binoculars, bird books and coffee.
I'm giddy and may need a straight-jacket by the end of the week if I keep this up.
Texting duck updates to my daughter, auto-correct changes "buffleheads" to "knuckleheads." At the moment, the latter might be appropriate. The buffleheads are acting foolish, like grown cowboys in a bar when a lone female sashays into the joint. Three male buffleheads and one little female just bellied up the pond.
It's like the ducks are grunting the universal phrase for, "Hey, Baby..."
Buffleheads are so named because they are a little duck with a great head like a buffalo. The males are the whitest duck you'll see on water, but they have a blackish-purple head with a large white patch extending from eyes to crown. The female is a blotchy dark gray duck with a white cheek patch.
She may not be hot by glamor standards, but she has these males acting like smitten knuckleheads.
In courtship, the males bob those big heads. They all swim near the female, head-bobbing like duck rappers. Their music is a loud chattering. They're divers, and one male keeps diving beneath the female like he's trying to see up her skirt. The males rear up on water, skittering half in flight, half running. They charge at her, at each other and even at the lone hooded merganser who's like, "Hey, I'm waiting for my own chick to show up. Back off."
What's even more outrageous than what's happening on the pond is my mania to watch it. I cross the horse pasture and prop my camera on the corner fence post. Standing next to a pile of deer poop, I shoot pictures like a paparazzi having discovered Madonna and three boyfriends on a secluded beach. I giggle (I do this a lot during bird season) and click pictures of the knuckleheads on Elmira Pond.
Enjoy the peep show: