Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Coot feet!

Another AMNH walk, another icy adventure.  We decided to head up to the reservoir and see what we could find.

But first, on my way up to meet the group, I got to watch 3 red-tailed hawks hunting!  It was actually a bit unclear what their relationship was.  I started watching one, and then suddenly there was another one, I thought the second one was chasing the first one away from its building.  But then there were three and they were all sort of flying together.  Oh, who can tell.  It all went so fast, and it was hard to see through the trees, but it was awesome!

red-tailed hawk
 At the duck spot (which just might be the only non-frozen part of the lake right now) there were plenty of mallards, and this one lone shoveler.
northern shoveler
 At last a chickadee!  Paul brought some bread to feed the birds, and it was pretty amazing how many flew right over.  I think human bread (even whole wheat) is basically like dessert to a bird.
black-capped chickadee
 I love this picture.  :-)
downy woodpecker
 At the reservoir, is was mostly frozen over, but the bread brought everyone right over!  I love female mallards.  They look so plain from far away, and they just get more and more beautiful the closer you look.  There's something about that whole idea that I just love.
The gang's all here!  A wood duck, a coot, a mallard, and a gull.  
herring gull, American coot, mallard, wood duck
 Coot feet!  I'm so happy the coots came over, I love their crazy feet!
American coot
 Look at them!  They are ridiculous and gorgeous and awesome!
American coot
 A black duck next to a female mallard.  At last I can see the difference!
American black duck, mallard female
 Back to the feeders - fox sparrow!
fox sparrow

house finch
 And a nuthatch to rounds things out.  Very nice, very nice, but the coot feet really made the day for me.
white-breasted nuthatch

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