Ducks in Trees

I love walking in the woods this time of year when the leaves aren’t quite out. You can see the slope of the land and the gracefully twisted oak limbs reaching to the sky; as well as objects closer at hand like mosses which are sending up their spore capsules now:


mosses


Certain heart-lifting birds are returning, such as this bluebird scouting out my neighbor’s birdhouses:


bluebirds


And this tundra swan pair, which I glimpsed from the farther shore . . .


swans


. . . then visited more closely on the other side of the lake. 


swans2


They were totally unafraid of both me and the black-footed swamp monster, below.


wats


This morning, I also heard a pair of wood ducks, looked up, and saw them perching on a branch. While I know that wood ducks nest in trees, and that their many chicks jump fearlessly out of a 30-foot-high nest hole, it was astounding to see a duck in a tree for the first time. I did not have my camera, of course! But here is a photo from the web by Gerald D. Tang to give you the idea:


Ducks-Wood-Pair-605894Gerald D. Tang


Apparently wood ducks have extra claws on their webbed feet to be able to grasp bark and branches. Such an interesting adaptation to provide a safe spot for eggs and chicks.


Spring is a wonderous time indeed.

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