Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mallard Hybrid - Possible Domestic Duck?

These mallard hybrid pictures were taken at Scargo Lake in Dennis (on Cape Cod) during our vacation this past August. We were vacationing with our friends Dave and Meg, and I asked Dave what kind he thought they were since he's a hunter, wildlife biologist, and general expert on the subject of birds- especially ducks. He said they looked like a hybrid- probably mallard hybrid and domestic duck.

It's funny because these ducks just wouldn't learn- they kept coming in dangerously close to our rental house's dock, only to be chased off by Dave and Meg's dog Foster, who's a trained hunting dog. He had a lot of fun doing it each time though, so no harm no fowl :)

Just look at this precious boy- such a cutie!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Juvenile Mallard Duck Pictures

Wow- it's hard to believe it was over 2 years ago that I wrote a post wondering about mallard hybrids. I had seen a green-winged teal for the first time and I was very confused about what I was looking at- is this a seagull with a mallard head? haha

Juvenile mallard ducks are quite interesting because of the blue mark on their wings. I always get excited when I see that- thinking it could be some type of teal, wood duck, or other interesting duck species. Nope- just a juvenile mallard!

These pictures were taken in Plymouth, MA at the beginning of the pathway that goes to the to the Jenney Grist Mill. Steve and I went for a random drive and walk around Plymouth back in mid-October. We live so close! There's really a lot to see and do there, and Plymouth Harbor is also a great birding spot. I saw the Ivory Gull there back in 2009

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Birds of Istanbul

The last stop in our international birding month bonanza is in the Middle East, to Istanbul, Turkey.

These mysterious green birds were seen in the beautiful gardens of Topkapi Palace, the primary residence of the Ottoman Sultans for approximately 400 years (1465-1856) of their 624-year reign. They were photographed in September, 2010. If anyone can help me (Larry, Birding Girl's co-worker) identify these birds, please write something in the comment fields below. Thanks!!

Birds of Botswana

Here are a few mystery birds that I saw in June 2010 in Botswana. Unfortunately, I don't know what kinds of birds they are, but if you happen to know, post a comment!

This brave bird was standing on the head of a hippopotamus, right in the middle of a pod of hungry hippos on the Chobe river, bordering Botswana and Namibia.

I think this is some kind of wood pecker.

A bunch of birds making a nest in the Chobe River in between Botswana/Namibia.

Another colorful bird.

A bird flies over our boat.

This appears to be another roller of some sort.

If anyone can help me (Larry) identify these mystery birds, write in the comment fields below. Thanks!!

Fish Eagles in Botswana

This pair of fish eagles were photographed in June, 2010 at the Chobe National Park in northern Botswana.

Saddle Billed Stork

This Saddle Billed Stork is a rare find in South Africa. Some estimates are that there are only around 100 of these left in the entire Kruger National Park, but thanks to various conservation efforts, the species is on the mend!

Lylac Breasted Roller

Many people visit Africa to see the big 5 game (Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rino and Buffalo). But I happen to think Africa is just as fabulous (if not better) for birding folks. This Lylac Breasted Roller is one of the most colorful and beautiful birds I saw on my trip. The colors are like a paint color swatch from Benjamin Moore - the colors go so well together! If you're interested in visiting South Africa, there is a non-stop flight from New York JFK to Johannesburg.

Marshal Eagle

This marshal eagle (who, unfortunately is facing away from my camera, and has a big shadow cast on him from the tree) was seen in South Africa in June of 2010. What i like about this photo is that the marshal eagle has caught his prey! Look at his talons - he's caught a baby water monitor lizard for dinner.

Pair of Tawny Eagles

This pair (male & female) of Tawny eagles were spotted just outside the Kruger National Park in South Africa in June of 2010. These birds of prey have massive talons, the size of adult human hands and they can carry away a baby impala (deer)!

And look at their wingspan. Nearly 2 meters wide - incredible! For this photo, I just kept the Tawny eagle in the viewfinder and waited (and waited) for it to fly away.

Yellow Billed Hornbill

Next we travel to Africa!

I think this is a Yellow Billed Hornbill was seen while travelling in Kruger National Park in South Africa, June, 2010. You may also recognize him as the character 'Zazu', the King's advisor in The Lion King. For this picture, I used a manual single point focus on Zazu's eyeball because there were so many trees in the way.

Red Breasted Toucan in Brazil

This November, birding girl is partnering with Larry (a co-worker) to cover a selection of birds of the world that are outside of the USA.

First up is from south america! I think this is a Red Breasted Toucan. It was photographed in the Jardim Botânico (Botanical Gardens), in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in October of 2010. It reminds me of the mascot for Froot Loops cereal. So colorful!

look at the size of that beak!