Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ducks and More Ducks

Over the past weeks, I've been watching Black-bellied Whistling Ducks bringing up their young on the retention ponds at the CyFair campus.
The ducklings, born last month, are growing up fast and I saw two groups of them yesterday on the southern pond. They were being escorted by their parents, as they will be for about the first six months of their lives.

Family #1

Family #2

As I was looking over the northern pond, more Whistling Ducks emerged from the reeds. This time it was a group of of two adults and 7 young. Judging by their size and how striped their heads are, these ducklings seem to be rather younger than the others.

Whistling Ducks weren't the only birds down at the ponds. The trees had several Great-tailed Grackles and European Starlings, while the edges of the water had Mourning Doves and Killdeer. Our two resident Green Herons were out and about - unfortunately, I haven't seen any sign of baby herons yet - and a Great Egret was fishing the northern pond.

Meanwhile a Snowy Egret was pacing around in the smallest of the three ponds.


Pam said...

What a gorgeous place you work, I'm quite jealous. I work down a back street in Leeds doesn't compare!

Jeff said...

I am lucky, Pam. A lot of the campus is taken up with buildings, parking lots, etc. but the two large (? 5-6 acres each) ponds are great and the soccer fields bring in lots of birds in the winter. Also, as part of a prairie restoration project, a lot of the campus has been planted with native grasses. These shelter rabbits and many many rats. In turn, these attract hawks and snakes. The rabbits, rats and snakes also attract coyotes.

Pam said...

I suppose though there is an awful lot more land out there than in the UK to be able to do that. It would be a joy to go to work each day knowing i'd have a place like that just nearby!