|The office at Mass Audubon's North Shore Wildlife Sanctuary. Well-stocked bird feeders between the building and the parking lot attract a wide variety of birds in winter. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.|
|The North River in Marshfield, Massachusetts attracts different species of wintering ducks in the winter. image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.|
|Jenney Pond in Plymouth, Massachusetts is a great place to look for ducks, gulls and other birds in the winter. Image copyright Danuiel E. Levenson 2013.|
A. White bread is not something ducks should be eating.
B. The ducks are not starving - if the ducks were starving they would either be dead or have moved
somewhere else, after all they are wild animals.
C. Their yelling and screaming was both annoying and scaring the other birds.
Alas, I gritted my teeth and waited for them to leave. No matter, because in the end I saw some great birds. In addition to the ducks I mentioned above there were also five Hooded Mergansers and a male Red-breasted Merganser. The latter didn't seem bothered by my closeness to the shoreline at all, and I got a few OK photos. Later I watched as he made several dives, tucking his head down and slipping effortlessly underwater at the edge of the ice.
|A male Red-breasted Merganser hunts for fish on Jenney Pong in Plymouth, MA. These diving ducks are more commonly seen on salt water. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.|
One interesting thing I noticed while watching the gulls closer in was an American Crow harassing a female Mallard. I know crows will mob owls and other birds of prey, but I have never seen (or heard of) a crow chasing after a duck. I saw a similar interaction between a crow and a gull at Jenney Pond. If anyone out there has seen anything like this before I would definitely love to hear about it.
|A group of Brant feeding on the grass near Plymouth Harbor. These small geese breed far to the north but can be seen along the New England coast in winter. Image copyright Danuiel E. Levenson 2013.|
|Although the surface directly offshore was covered in ice there was plenty of open water a little farther out in Plymouth Harbor, where gulls and Common Eider could be seen bobbing in the waves. Image copyright Daniel E. Levenson 2013.|