Perching Wood Duck

Another gorgeous day to check out the dyke.

While I was by the golf course, I spent quite a while admiring this particular male Wood Duck "perching" on a acorn tree. Even though they are described as a "perching duck" ("Cairininae" or "Cairinini") with specialized sharp claws for perching and nesting in trees, it was quite entertaining to watch these guys leap from tree branch to branch with their somewhat awkward technique (compare to the graceful Passerines). First of all, these guys are heavy, unlike the lightweight sparrows, chickadees, or even crows. So when they fly onto a branch, gravity tends to act on their weight and they fell until they are somewhat stuck on a lower branch. Overall, it was just a riot to watch these guys try over and over again, until this one guy gave up and flew back onto the water. I wonder why evolution has left them this way because they seem to do better on water than tree.

While this particular Wood Duck was struggling on the tree, it brought down many of acorns, leaves, and whatnots, causing a feeding frenzy for the mallards below the tree.

And since today's Sunday, quite a large crowd came to check out the Snow Geese.
And the autumn colors totally made these trees look like they are on fire! Amazing!

Overall, just a beautiful day today!

Man and heron.

Dark-eyed Junco and Starlings

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