Thursday, February 25, 2010

Central Park in the snow

I went walking around Central Park in the snow today, not really to see birds, just to enjoy the snow. I wandered around until I came to the bridge across the pond.

I crossed the bridge and came down the stairs to walk around the east side of the pond, and came across two ducks doing what I thought was some sort of display. I paused to watch, it was a male and a female, bobbing their heads way up and way down in counter- point to each other. Then I realized it was not a confron- tation at all, when the female turned around and fanned out her tail feathers and the male mounted her. Oh, my! Yes, ducks mating on the pond in the snow. Then I realized that although the male was a mallard, the female was not. She was a lighter tan, larger than a female mallard (the same size as the male mallard), and didn't have the same coloration pattern. I don't know what kind of duck she is, I am guessing a female northern pintail. These pictures are her from different angles, hopefully someday I'll figure out the mystery duck. Continuing around the pond I saw perched in a tree a hawk being harassed by crows! I had been hearing the crows for quite some time, it's embarrassing how long it took me to spot them. There were 3 or 4 crows around the hawk, who seemed pretty stoic about the whole thing. Great sightings for a snow day, I wish I had brought the big camera!

1 comment:

  1. Update: The mystery has been solved! Someone with much more knowledge and experience than I have took a look and wrote me:
    "The mystery duck is a domestic duck or domestic X Mallard hybrid of some kind. In fact there's a few ducks in the park that are like that in one way or the other with quite a large range of variability."