Thursday, September 17, 2009

Silent Waters Wood Ducks

Silent Waters (formerly Shelton Reservoir #1) was home to a family of Wood Ducks this afternoon, including the immature male in the photo below (wish I had a proper camera at times like these). Many people consider these to be the most beautiful of all the ducks, but they can be elusive because they live in brushy water holes and nest in tree cavities. Today while standing on the Rec Path bridge I could hear them in the brush and dead trees well out in the water. The one in the photo finally left the commotion and swam away.

Silent Waters has great Wood Duck habitat because it was flooded a few years back, killing off the trees that once marked the shoreline. There is also some buttonbush growing out in the water, and providing good cover for wildlife.

I think it's a good bet that the Wood Duck family was born and raised at Silent Waters. I would think that with all those dead trees, there must be a good nesting cavity somewhere. There's also lots of privacy for the shy birds because hikers can't get up to most of the shoreline, and boat traffic is very minimal (the occasional canoe or kayak is it). By the way, I also saw a big Osprey circling the pond while I was there as well.


Dick Skudlarek said...

Strangely, wherever I've seen wood duck nesting boxes, I've never seen wood ducks. Yet, I don't recall seeing any nesting boxes at Silent Waters, and you've stumbled upon wood ducks!

Teresa said...

Habitat is everything...people can put up all the bird boxes they want, but if it's the wrong habitat (or the box is poorly designed), the boxes won't get used. Silent Waters is great habitat for Wood Ducks.