anghara (anghara) wrote,

One weird duck...

Went for a walk around the lake this afternoon, and took a couple of pics of this critter:

(no, that's not one of mine. I might upload mine if they come up good enough to share once they're off the memory card...)

The thing is, the critter mystified me - I'd never seen anything like it before - so when I got home I looked it up in my bird book. And here's what it says about it there:

"A common duck of quiet, shallow backwater ponds. Nests in old woodpecker holes or in nest boxes. Often seen flying deep in forest or perched high on tree branches. Female takes flight with loud squealing call and enters nest cavity from full flight. Will lay eggs in neighboring female nest (egg dumping) resulting in some clutches in excess of 20 eggs. Young stay in nest cavity only 24 hours after hatching, then jump (from up to 30 feet) to the ground or water to follow their mother, never returning to the nest."

I'm left sitting here trying to reconcile all of these things in one animal. If it's a swimming duck with webbed duck feet, how the HELL does it "perch in trees"? If it perches in trees, thus implying perching clawed feet, how the HELL does it swim? It nests in WOODPECKER HOLES (which it enters with no brakes on...)? It's a cuckoo duck that lays eggs in friendly neighborhood nests and lets other breeding pairs feed 'em? It's got kamikaze ducklings who fall 30 feet from a nest (what's a DUCK doing nesting 30 feet up in a tree?!)

And what's with the "help, I fell in an unattended paintbox and look what happened" make-up?

I'm enormously entertained, completely baffled, and utterly fascinated.

I think I may have to go back and look for these things, and see if I can spot a duck perching in a tree. That would be a photo to talk about...
Tags: wildlife report

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