Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Zoo Ducks

Hooded Merganser, Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, MA
Lily and I went to the Franklin Park Zoo on Columbus Day. Our favorite exhibit: the duck pond in the Children's Zoo. There seem to be more native North American species there now than I've seen in the past: hooded mergansers, goldeneye (Barrow's), wood ducks (hiding under a bush), buffleheads, canvasbacks, black ducks, and of course, mallards.
Barrow's Goldeneye, Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, MA
Such close proximity does tend to bring out the testosterone, though. The male bufflehead was chasing everything close by. He would dive and attack from below, which sent ducks, especially goldeneye and hoodies, scurrying all over the pond. Other times he would get up steam and fly like a dart, causing waterfowl in his path to, well, duck....

After the bufflehead calmed down, the testosterone moved on to the hooded mergansers. As documented below, two males went into full-on display mode. We were close enough to hear the croaky/buzzy call accompanying the display.

Lily, as you can hear above, thought it great fun. I agreed.

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