At first I thought this was a mallard hen. But I’ve never seen a mallard dive underwater and swim. This one dove several times in the tidewater of the Alsea River. Watch the video and tell me if you think this is a mallard. A still photo of her is below the link to the video.
The bears are going to be happy this fall! We’ve got lots of apple blossoms.
The wood ducks made an appearance this afternoon. It looks like the male on the left is a young one just coming into his breeding colors. Maybe still living with Mom and Dad until he gets through this awkward stage?
The hen stayed closer to the larger male so I’m guessing they are a couple.
Wood Ducks are the most colorful ducks I’ve seen on the Alsea River.
Wood ducks like swamps and slower moving water. This part of the Alsea is affected by tides. So when the tide is lower, the edges are kind of swampy. Of course the drakes are the most colorful; with the beautiful orange eyes. But the hen’s white markings around her black eyes are also striking.
I thought these were harlequin ducks at first. But I did a little research and found that they are wood ducks.
These wood ducks are common in the Siuslaw National Forest rivers.
These males are in their breeding plumage now.
The females even have some of the iridescent green on their wings. It reminds me of the traditional, human, formal attire; where the woman is the colorful one and the man has a touch of the same color on his clothing….just so everyone knows who goes together!
As they were swimming up the tidewater area of the Alsea River, the females would take a detour. Maybe they are looking for a good nesting area? A few of them strayed up onto the bank, softly quacking to each other.