Sunday, 5 June 2016

Magpie Babies

      I noticed a robin sized bird yesterday that I did not recognise. It was black and white and stayed hidden among the thick branches of young spruce trees. In the shadows and depths of the tree I noticed a couple more birds hopping around trying to stay hidden from my view. Then I heard the unmistakable squawking. It reminded me of a teenage boy's voice changing; not quite right but identifiable. When more of the birds chimed in it wasn't long before Mom and Dad Magpie appeared in the topmost branches squawking their protest at my intrusion. In a few more days the young magpies will be flying rather than hopping from limb to limb. Right now they do not have the flourishing tail feathers that their parents do. Their wing and breast feathers do not look to be quite developed either.
Magpie Baby

     I did also see a Merlin flying around too. One of the magpies would be a fair meal for that predator so I did not hang around too long and hoped that I had not pointed this meal out for him.

     The gosling are growing rapidly and there is a Red-necked Grebe setting on a floating nest near where a pair raised a brood last year.

     Several Mallards are also showing off clutches of downy ducklings. One set has just hatched and spends most of the time on the bank nestled among the grass until strong enough to swim and dabble. Another family is already tipping and dabbling, gathering wee morsels from submerged pond vegetation.
Mallard Hen with her Babies

Whenever we would ask my Dad, "What's this thing?" and he didn't know, his answer would always be, "A wigwam for a duck's ass." Here is what he was talking about:
Mallard Wigwam

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