Wild Weds. 12/52 Duck, Duck, Goose!

Copyright ©2018 Deborah M. Zajac.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

A couple of weeks ago when I shared the Snow Leopard  images here 

I mentioned that my friend and I went birding before we visited Sacramento Zoo. We went to Sacramento, CA to find special ducks, and geese.  The Ducks were some of the most colorful ducks here in the States.  Wood Ducks, and a Mandarin Duck which I’ll save for another post, and a new Goose for me the African Goose.

There were a couple pairs of Woods Ducks, and quite a few African Geese making the day very successful.

Wood Ducks can be found here all year long, but we see them mostly in Spring.  They have sharp, strong claws that allow them to climb branches. They will nest in boxes if they’re provided, but if not they’ll nest in holes in  trees.  The Wood Duck is the only North American duck that regularly produces two broods in one year.  The Wood Duck is considered one of the prettiest of all waterfowl.

Wood Duck Male

Wood Duck Male

Wood Duck Female- She’s looking up at a nesting box that the Wood Ducks kept taking turns flying up to.  They’re paired up now so brooding is on their minds no doubt. 🙂

Wood Duck Female

Wood Duck pair-  I was focused on the male, and shooting at f/8, but the female isn’t as sharp as I would have liked her to be.  What do you think he’s talking about? Traffic on the pond? Or how beautiful she is? Or how wonderful he is at nesting, and fathering chicks? 🙂

Wood Duck Pair

The African Goose- Isn’t really from Africa they think it’s really from China and related to the Swan Goose from China.  It’s most distinguishing feature is its knob on its bill/face front.

I’d never seen this Goose before. We don’t have many knobbed fronted birds here, but it’s a beauty.  It’s not listed in either of my Bird books for North America so, I turned to Wikipedia for information about it. See below the images.

This one might be a mix of white and brown because of the orange in its knob, or maybe it’s breeding colors? IDK? 🙂

African Goose in the Pond

Several came out of the pond to forage on the lawn. I liked the way this one stopped foraging to give me “the look”.   I didn’t get any closer.  🙂

African Goose

Here’s an image of what I think is a male African Goose. It was HUGE, and you can see the Dewlap (the hanging bit under the chin) that is mentioned below as a distinguishing feature.

African Goose Male

The African Goose is a breed of goose. The African goose breed most likely originated in China, despite the name. They may possibly be related to the wild swan goose a smaller species of goose, just like their close cousin the Chinese goose. Though they share some similar characteristics (such as colour variations), the two can be distinguished by the African’s larger dewlap and different knob shape. African geese are also quite a bit heavier than Chinese, and are better known for their docile temperaments. Also, they are known to lay far fewer eggs than Chinese geese, 25-40 eggs per year for the African goose vs. 40-65, or, in extreme cases, up to 200 eggs per year for Chinese geese.

Two origin theories persist for the fowl: the first purporting that Africans are the result of crosses of swan geese and Chinese, while the other asserts that they are pure derivations of the swan goose, and their unique traits are simply the result of selective breeding. Whichever the case, it has existed as a distinct breed since at least the middle of the nineteenth century, and was admitted to the American Poultry Association‘s Standard of Perfectionin 1874.

Ganders often have a higher pitched call than the geese, and are taller, while the females are shorter and stockier, with larger keels or lobes.

African geese appear in three color varieties: Brown, Buff and White. Browns have black bills and knobs, and plumage with irregular shades, from a very light to dark brown. Whites have all-white plumage and orange bills and knobs.” ~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_goose


It was an outstanding morning at the pond seeing these and several other species.

I hope your week is going well, and it’s easy going til Friday!

Nikon D810| Nikkor 200-500mm| San Disk Digital Film| PS CC 2018

more to come…


Hybrid-Crested Pekin Mallard?

Via Flickr:
Copyright © 2013 Deborah M Zajac. All Rights Reserved

On my recent jaunt up to Lake Merritt to find the Tufted Duck I was walking past a little enclosed pond when I spotted this duck. I had to call Phil over to see it since it was unique.
Neither of us knew what the name of this duck was and we planned to do some research to see if we could figure it out. Phil got on it straight-away. He found very little information out there, but he did find a photo with a duck that looks like this one and it was called a Hybrid-Crested Pekin Mallard.
Bred for the little Pom-Pom on their heads I’m sure!
Anyone know anything about this breed?

This pond was pretty dirty  so, I did a little work in PS to clean it up, but as you see it’s still a mess. The disadvantage of a small pond I guess.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 80200@ 112m + Tamron 1.4x TC| f8| 1/250s| ISO 400| Manual Priority| Hand-held


Northern Pintail

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I’m looking through some photos of earlier birding trips and finding a few I like more now than when I first uploaded them.
Colusa National Wildlife Refuge.

Nikon D700| Nikkor 70-300mm @300mm| f5.6| 1/2000 sec| ISO 500| Manual Mode| Tripod| January 2012

Feisty Falcated Asian Duck

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

This little guy is a celebrity who is drawing large crowds of birders and photographers from around the continent to the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge in California’s Pacific Fly-way belt.

His native home is China where I’ve read they’re hunted extensively. The burning question is did he migrate, is he a stow-away, or an escapee from a private zoo? No one knows how he came to be here, but they have been spotted in California  further north of here  in Lassen County back in 1969, 2002, and 2003.

His name Falcated refers to his sickle-shaped wing feathers.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I called him feisty because he was not shy about telling off the American Wigeons he was swimming peacefully with only seconds before.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

I think he’s taken a fancy to the female Wigeon and is showing off his lovely iridescent colors, and fine plumage.

Below he’s swimming with White-fronted Geese and a male American Wigeon.

Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved

This celebrity doesn’t sign autographs or grant interviews, but don’t let that stop you from going to see him. It’s been said before and I’ll say it again, “This is no ugly duckling!”

Nikon D700| Nikkor 70-300mm VR

fact resource  http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/06/4166680/falcated-duck-attracts-bird-watchers.html