Neighborhood Nature

Our Family's Nature Blog

Now We Have Baby Wood Ducks, Too! May 28, 2009

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Seasons,Spring — saltthesandbox @ 4:39 pm
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This spring we’ve seen baby robins and baby geese at nearby Columbus Park. Late last week, while I was out town, the boys found baby Wood Ducks at Columbus Park. When I went back today, I found the mother duck with her week-old babies:

The mother Wood Duck watched her eleven babies -- and me.

The mother Wood Duck watched her eleven babies -- and me.

When I got too close, she gathered them together.

When I got too close, she gathered them together.

Then they headed for cover under bushes at the edge of the lagoon.

Then they headed for cover under bushes at the edge of the lagoon.

Mother Wood Ducks are small and not too strong. When danger threatens, they protect their babies by swimming away and hiding them. (Compare this to the larger, stronger Canada Geese — they protect their young by attacking anything that threatens them.)

We’re so happy to have a Wood Duck family at Columbus Park this year! We’ve been watching the parents since early March, when they first returned after spending the winter somewhere south of here. (Go here to see Ethan’s first Wood Duck photos of the year.) In mid April the mother Wood Duck disappeared, but we still saw the male on the lagoon most days. We hoped she had found a hollow tree to nest in — and it seems she did! And now, finally, the mother duck has brought her babies to the lagoon.

Here are two later posts about this Wood Duck family:

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To learn more about how Wood Ducks raise their young, you can check these websites:

  • All About Birds – Basic information about Wood Duck natural history, including nesting.
  • YouTube – First of a series of videos of Wood Ducks hatching and leaving the nest.
  • Wikipedia – Encyclopedia-style information about Wood Ducks.

We’ll keep watching the Wood Duck family as they grow, and we’ll post the photos on this blog.

 

The Baby Geese Are Growing Fast!

Filed under: Animals,Birds,Seasons,Spring — saltthesandbox @ 3:51 pm
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This month we’ve been watching five baby Canada Geese grow up in Columbus Park. When I checked this morning, the four-week-old goslings were feeding on grass at the edge of the lagoon:

These baby Canada Geese are about four weeks old. One parent watches over them while the other chases off snother goose.

These baby Canada Geese are about four weeks old. One parent watched over them while the other chased off another goose.

The babies ate the whole time I watched them, even when they were resting on the grass. That’s why they are growing so fast! As usual, the parents stayed close to the babies and protected them as they fed. One parent even chased off another goose that got to close. (I stayed back and used a 15 power lens to take these photos.)

The babies are still covered with downy feathers, but now they seem more gray than yellow (which was their color when they first hatched). Also, if you look closely, you can see the beginnings of adult feathers sticking out from their tails and wings:

If you look closely at the baby Canada Goose on the left, you can see the beginnings of flight feathers growing our of the back of its wing and the tips of tail feathers just emerging from the tip of its tail.

If you look closely at the baby Canada Goose on the left, you can see the beginnings of flight feathers growing out of the back of its wing and the tips of tail feathers just emerging from the end of its tail.

In just a few months these babies with be as big as their parents. We’ll keep watching as they grow.

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Updates:

To see what the baby geese looked like when they were a few days old, go here.

To see that they looked like when they were two weeks old, go here.

To see a post from a week later about the five-week-old goslings, please go here.

To see the goslings at seven weeks, go here.