Blog Archive: Ducks

Birdorable Bufflehead

Did you know? Cavity-nesting ducks

May 22nd, 2012 in Ducks, Did You Know...? 5 comments

With their special water-resistant plumage, ducks are made for water. But did you know that several species of duck actually require trees when it comes to breeding? Some ducks are cavity nesters. We've recently added one of these cute little cavity-nesting ducks to Birdorable. The Bufflehead is one of the smallest species of duck to live in North America. They're just about 14 inches long, and they use cavities excavated by Northern Flicker woodpeckers! They also use nestboxes, as in the photo below.

Bufflehead ducks

Besides the Bufflehead, some other ducks that nest in cavities or nest boxes are: Hooded Merganser; Black-bellied Whistling Duck; Wood Duck; Common Goldeneye; and Common Merganser.

Birdorable Wood Duck

Baby Birdorable: Wood Duck

January 10th, 2012 in Ducks, Baby Birds No comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Wood Duck. You may be surprised to learn that Wood Ducks nest in trees! They are cavity nesters, and will use old tree cavities dug out by other birds, or nestboxes built just for them. Shortly after the ducklings hatch, the mother duck flies out and coaxes the babies to jump down from the nest and join her in the water.

 
Incredibly Cute Baby Wood Ducks
Incredibly Cute Baby Wood Ducks by New Jersey Birds
Incredibly Cute Baby Wood Ducks
Incredibly Cute Baby Wood Ducks by New Jersey Birds
Wood duck and chicks
Wood duck and chicks by John Picken
Baby wood duck
Baby wood duck by Ducklover Bonnie
Wood ducks on a log
Wood ducks on a log by Ducklover Bonnie

Pretty cute, right? Be sure to check out our Birdorable Wood Duck t-shirts and gifts!

Birdorable Common Eider

Baby Birdorable: Common Eider

March 21st, 2011 in Ducks, Baby Birds 10 comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Common Eider. Common Eiders line their nests with fine, soft down. The eggs are incubated for about 25 days and the baby ducks leave the nest within about 24 hours of hatching. The babies can dive for food on their own after about an hour in the water! Young families may form crèches consisting of several mother/chick groups together for feeding.

Common Eider nest - 2010-07-06 - Bathurst Inlet
Common Eider nest - 2010-07-06 - Bathurst Inlet by Blake Maybank
Eider_chick_1806
Eider_chick_1806 by Mikko Vihtakari
Common eider ducklings
Common eider ducklings by GZA1970
Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima)
Common Eiders (Somateria mollissima) by Frode Jacobsen
Common eider duckling
Common eider duckling by GZA1970
baby eider ducks
baby eider ducks by headharbourlight
Common Eider ducklings.
Common Eider ducklings. by birdyearken
baby eider ducks
baby eider ducks by headharbourlight
Common Eider Chick
Common Eider Chick by Eleanor Briccetti
2009 Norway / Noorwegen 090613 01
2009 Norway / Noorwegen 090613 01 by rob.bremer

Pretty cute, right? Be sure to check out our Birdorable Common Eider t-shirts and gifts!

Birdorable Northern Shoveler

Fun facts about the Northern Shoveler

January 29th, 2011 in Ducks, Fun Facts No comments
Birdorable Northern Shoveler

1. Northern Shovelers use their uniquely-shaped bills to strain the water for crustaceans when feeding.

2. Northern Shovelers are fairly widespread, with populations living and breeding across parts of the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

3. There are three other species of shoveler in the world, all closely related to the Northern Shoveler: Cape Shoveler; Australasian Shoveler; and Red Shoveler.

4. Northern Shovelers have been known to hybridize with several other duck species, including Blue-winged Teal, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, and Wood Duck.

5. The wings of Northern Shovelers make a rattling noise when the birds take off.

6. Northern Shovelers are somewhat territorial - at least more so that other dabbling ducks. Males will defend territory more fiercely during nesting season.

7. The Northern Shoveler is one of our cute Birdorable birds! The Northern Shoveler was added to Birdorable on December 7th, 2010.

Birdorable Wood Duck

Bonanza Bird #13: The Wood Duck

July 19th, 2010 in Ducks, Birdorable Bonanza 2010 8 comments
Birdorable Wood Duck

For 18 days we're adding a new Birdorable bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2010. Today's bird is the North American Wood Duck. Male Wood Ducks, like our new Birdorable, are beautifully plumaged. Iridescent green heads, brick-red breasts and sandy flanks are just part of the multicolored story.

Wood Ducks nest in trees, or nest boxes. They are considered perching ducks, and it is not uncommon to see them perched high up in trees.

Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa)
Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) by musicarver

Tomorrow's bird likes to show off his red epaulets while calling. Can you guess what it is?

Birdorable Mallard

The familiar Mallard, Birdorable-style

June 3rd, 2010 in Ducks 1 comment
Birdorable Mallard

The Mallard is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable of all ducks. They are dabbling ducks who breed throughout the temperate and sub-tropical areas of North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, where they are invasive. The Birdorable Mallard is also one of the most 'familiar' of our cute birds - they appear in several different designs.

If you like our Birdorable Mallard you may also like our other ducks and geese.