Friday, March 26, 2010

American Black Duck Pics

These American Black Duck pics were taken last weekend we were down the Cape looking at potential wedding venues. Naturally I wanted to go birding while we were out there. One of the places we were looking at was in Provincetown, and we stayed overnight Friday since we had a morning appointment on Saturday. The hotel we were staying at is out on the end of the point, right on the beach. I was excited to see what the birding would be like in the morning, and just my luck- it was low tide! I got up around 7:00 and walked out to take pictures of the various ducks out on the sand bar.

Here you can see the male feeding. American Black Ducks are dabbling ducks- they feed either by skimming the surface of the water, or by dabbling and reaching items in shallow water as shown in my pictures below. The American Black Duck diet includes aquatic insects, crustaceans, and small fish, which this duck may have been after:
In this picture you can see the male preening. You can also see one of the identifying features for black ducks- the blue patch on the wing. The main difference between the male and female American Black Duck is the beak as far as I've been able to tell- the male black duck's bill is more yellowish.
More Provincetown duck pictures to come!


Unknown said...

That must have been awesome - the weather was gorgeous on Saturday! I can't understand why you didn't invite all of us along, though. I'm sure Steve would have enjoyed the extra noise and tension, right? JK, but I can't wait to see what else you saw!

Birdinggirl said...

@Sue- actually I would have loved your company! I got out there around 7am- Steve was fast asleep back at the hotel. He's not that devoted of a birder to get up early on a Saturday- haha