I heard from a friend that along the river where I found the Owlets there was a family of Wood Ducks so, I went to check it out and sure enough I found some of them. My friend said there were 6 chicks, but I only saw 3.
I hope the others were just napping.
Here’s the male…aka Dad Wood Duck. Isn’t he a beautiful duck!
Here’s Mama. It looks like I caught her just after her bath. It must have been a fast one b/c now she’s after the chicks making sure they’re alright.
Here’s the first chick I spied. This is the only chick I was able to get a decent image of as the other two stayed in the reeds.
Wood Duck Fun Facts:
Natural cavities for nesting are scarce, and the Wood Duck readily uses nest boxes provided for it. If nest boxes are placed too close together, many females lay eggs in the nests of other females.
Wood Ducks pair up in January, and most birds arriving at the breeding grounds in the spring are already paired. The Wood Duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.
The Wood Duck nests in trees near water, sometimes directly over water, but other times over a mile away. After hatching, the ducklings jump down from the nest tree and make their way to water. The mother calls them to her, but does not help them in any way. The ducklings may jump from heights of over 50 feet without injury.
The oldest recorded Wood Duck was a male and at least 22 years, 6 months old. He was banded in Oregon and found in California.
PLEASE DO NOT USE MY IMAGES WITHOUT EXPRESSED WRITTEN PERMISSION.
Here and there throughout the Carrizo Plain were patches of purple flowers. The most prominent was the Great Valley Phacelia.
This particular genus is only found in California and Baja California. Per Plants.usda.gov site they can be found:
Phacelia ciliata is found only in California and Baja California in Mexico. Within California distribution includes the Northern Coastal Ranges, the Sacramento Valley including Sutter Buttes, the San Joaquin Valley, the San Francisco Bay, the Southern Coast Ranges and South West California, but excluding the Channel Islands. For current distribution, please consult the Plant Profile page for this species on the PLANTS Web site. Habitat: Great Valley phacelia is found associated with Coastal Sage Scrub, Northern Oak Woodland, Foothill Woodland and Valley Grassland. Adaptation Great Valley phacelia is drought tolerant and grows well in areas given 7 to 18 inches of annual precipitation. It grows on a range of soil types from clays to sandy loams to gravelly slopes and tolerates moderate salinity. It is found at elevations from seal level up to 5,000 feet (Calflora, 1997; Walden et al. 2013).
They’re considered one of the “blue” flowers and they’re a pollinator.
I got a wee bit behind with posts due to a trip down to SoCal to visit Big Baby Boy, and the Dark Haired Beauty. We crammed a lot into a few days, but I’m home now and catching up.
I’ll be sharing more from our wildflower Super-bloom trip in the future.
Nikon Df w| Nikkor 105mm and 35mm lenses| PS CC 24.4.1
Here are a few images of some critters I’ve seen this month while out birding.
Big Horn Sheep- Males: These guys were such a great treat to see! I also saw Ewes with lambs up higher in the hills, and further west, but the images aren’t good as they were too far out of my lenses range.
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