Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whoa, Duck for Cover!

Ruddy Duck, non-breeding colors, Mission River Preserve. The ducks are back! Every fall about this time the migratory birds come down from Alaska and Canada to bask in our considerably warmer waters. They're not out in huge numbers but the migration has definitely started. There were ruddy ducks, brandts, stilts, plovers, buffleheads, willets, curlews, godwits and widgeons out lounging on the river muching on crustaceans, seaweed and whatnot. I saw a godwit take out a small crab. Fascinating sight. The bird actually took off the claws one at a time, eating each, and then gulped the carapace. They are smart little guys. Gosh but it's tough being on the lower rungs of the food chain!

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