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Wintering waterfowl

Winter waterfowl on Choptank

Winter waterfowl on the Choptank

There’s a spot on Maryland’s Eastern Shore that birders and photographers know where wintering waterfowl (with a little help from their friends) are easy to see.

I’m totally smitten with American Wigeons, which I’d never seen before.

American Wigeon pair

American Wigeon pair

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The Wigeon male gives a soft, whistling call year-round.

amwi f crop

American Wigeon female

It’s been years since I’ve seen Canvasbacks.

canvasbacks

Canvasbacks

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Canvasback male

canv f1

The Canvasback female looks like an antique decoy

I mistook a Redhead for a male Canvasback. See the difference in this photo.

redh and canv

The Redhead has a black-tipped blue bill, while the Canvasback in the foreground has a uniformly dark and narrower bill.

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Redhead

Lesser Scaups are busy diving ducks, powered by strong, back-set legs.

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Lesser Scaup male

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Lesser Scaup female

In in the distance, Surf Scoters swam back and forth in their distinctive line.

surf scoters

Surf Scoters

canv f amwi m canv m

Can you ID these ducks?

About the author Martha Johnston

A Master Naturalist toting a point & shoot camera and a basket full of field guides.

All posts by Martha Johnston →

8 Comments

  1. H.J. for avian101 January 9, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    The duck in the middle is the American Wigeon. The ones front and back are Canvasbacks. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. No doubt in my mind that you’d know, H.J.!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. From back to front: Male canvasback, male wigeon, female canvasback? I didn’t look at the answer above until I’d typed mine. YAY! As a super-amateur birder (Look! A male cardinal!), this was a really wonderful little lesson. Thank you! (And please do more! )

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. Aces, Cy! Full disclosure: Before Tuesday I wouldn’t have been able to ID the wigeon without a field guide.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  3. Wonderful shots, I’m glad you got close and personal with the American Wigeons. I was most excited seeing them too at that special place to capture our wonderful wintering ducks! 😊 Second, came in the Redhead, I only saw one myself. You’ve got me definitely heading back there to look for those Surf Scoters, they weren’t there when I stopped.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. Oh, but to have seen Goldeneyes like you did!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  4. Great post, as usual. Reading this reminded me that I recently dreamed that I saw a Mandarin duck in Tuscany-Canterbury.

    Like

    Reply

    1. Well, definitely let me know if you see that duck when you are awake! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

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