Return of the Ospreys

The Ospreys have returned to their northern breeding grounds from their southern wintering spots. This one is part of a nesting pair at the Marine Nature Study Area in Oceanside, Long Island, NY. To learn more about how Osprey’s Migrate, go to: Migration FAQ | Osprey’s Journey.

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Red-bellied Woodpecker at Nest Cavity (Video)

Here’s a short clip of some “home improvement” being done by an adult male Red-bellied Woodpecker. I like the way he flings the wood chips during excavation. I captured this video on April 1, 2014, in Long Island, NY.

If the video above isn’t working, you can watch it directly on YouTube: http://youtu.be/BFfHS5l2aUY

Redhead Duck

A male Redhead duck in a small pond on Long Island, NY.

A male Redhead duck in a small pond on Long Island, NY.

Line of Northern Shovelers

With all the snow we’ve had here in New York recently, you might think the title of this post refers to a line of people shoveling snow. But these are Northern Shoveler ducks. Arranged in a gently curving line. Happily, I was there to photograph it.

Northern Shoveler ducks form a vertical line on a small pond in Long Island, NY.

Northern Shoveler ducks form a vertical line on a small pond in Long Island, NY.

“Hoodie” Ducks

These Hooded Mergansers were swimming and diving for food at the edge of the ice in a small, half-frozen pond on Long Island, NY.

When I snapped this picture, I thought both of these Hoodies were female. But I discovered that the one on the left is an immature male and the other is an adult female. Note the different colors of the bill, eye, and head. They both have head crests, but the male’s is flattened back and the female’s is half-raised.

Hooded Merganser ducks, immature male (l) and adult female (r) swim side-by-side.

Hooded Mergansers: immature male (l) and adult female (r).

Here’s another look at the young male with his head crest.

Hooded Merganser duck, immature male, swimming in icy pond.

Hooded Merganser, immature male.

When the male grows up, he’ll look like this (photo taken at the same pond several months earlier):

Hooded Merganser, Male

Hooded Merganser, Male, late afternoon in a small pond on Long Island, NY.

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