Archive for the ‘wildlife’ Category

Merganser Courtship

March 22, 2015

Springtime is full of activity as ducks try to attract the attention of the opposite sex.  Males attract females with their vibrant colors.

Male Common Merganser

Male Common Merganser

The female common mergansers don’t change their plumage much, if at all.

Female Common Merganser

Female Common Merganser

But their attitude seems to change quite a bit during courtship.  They choose a mate and chase the other males away.  Sometimes it looks like she’s even grouchy with her mate though.

(By the way, I don’t have any control over what videos Youtube displays after mine. Please tell me if it shows offensive video choices.)

When it’s time to mate, though, the female gets very quiet.

She probably laid stretched out in the water for about 5 minutes before her partner was ready.

Springtime wakes up sleepy wildlife

March 11, 2015

We haven’t seen some of these critters in a while.  Either they hibernate or they migrate south for the winter.

Nutria on riverbank

Nutria on riverbank

It seems like the nutria would stick around but we haven’t noticed them.  Maybe they just eat something other than grass in the winter?

Nutria swimming

Nutria swimming

It’s hard to tell the difference between a nutria and a beaver when they are swimming.  Watch for the tail.

nutria have orange front teeth

Nutria have orange front teeth

I had NO idea that nutria had orange incisors!  That is one of the features that distinguishes them from the muskrat.  Nutria are also larger and have fur on their tail.  You can see the orange as he scratches his chin.

Canada Goose Couple

Canada Goose Couple

I should look at last year’s photos to see when the Canada Geese started showing up but it sure seems early.  Everything seems early in the northwest due to the incredibly mild winter.

trillium

Trillium

I love the Trillium wildflower!  We saw our first one this spring today.  Did you know it takes 5 years for a Trillium to develop from seed to flower?  There’s a great reason not to pick the wildflowers!

Elk screaming

AAAAAGGGHHH (insert goat scream here)

Oops!  I think I startled the pee out of her!  :-)


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