I’ll tell you right up front, this particular blog post is going to cheat you a bit on your viewing pleasure. Normally I try my best to give a healthy dose of pictures with each of my offerings. When it comes to birds the goal is to give you a variety of poses or angles that help provide a good perspective of the featured species just in case you happen to live in one of those obnoxiously big cities and think birds just get in the view of the pretty skyscrapers. Today.. not so much. To be honest, I cannot recall what the issue was, but there was really only two picture taken of this bird – surprising since this was another NEW bird to check off the list.
The only hope is there are more shots of the Northern Pintail from the second day of shooting – which hasn’t been processed yet. If I find more while in the digital darkroom for the those I’ll be sure and post them to make up for the sparsity here. There is a correction for the long term readers of this blog. Back on June 5th 2010 I suggested one of the bird shots on that post was a Pintail (although skeptical even then – link here). Clearly it didn’t possess the twin tails of real Pintails as clearly seen in these shots.
This day began in one of those “Small World” experiences. It was a little cool that day so I was sporting my Illini pullover. While walking up to the entrance of the Preserve, a man came out and noticed the coat and asked me if I had gone to Illinois. Always seems surreal to head out thousands of miles from home and then come across someone that lives a few hundred miles from your hometown. He actually was the individual who alerted us to the presence of the Pintail. Based on his excitement at the time it appears that was not a common sighting on the ponds. A quick look at the regions indicates they do Winter there in that region, but since this was August that does seem pretty early. From an artistic perspective, I find the color palette on these ducks to be gorgeous which is only enhanced by the sleek profile. In case you are wondering, these two are both males.
How about some interesting facts to complete the post. First off they are very abundant and therefore have a conservation status of Least Concern – follow up research indicates they are in a large decline so this may actually change in the future (sad). They also happen to be a very popular game duck due to (and I quote Wikipedia) “speed, agility, and excellent eating qualities”. Hey, look ad that purdy eyegil burrd leck’s put led in itz ass. They are classed as dabbling ducks or simply those ducks that feed off the water’s surface instead of diving. They are primarily plant eating animals with the exception of when the female is nesting. During that time, it changes to invertebrates likes insects – wonder if that is similar to us humans which tend to switch to ice cream and pickle juice during our “nesting” period. Interesting.. another site indicates they are the first ducks to begin their Winter migration. I think we can personally confirm that now! And lastly, the ducks organization website indicates that Northern Pintails have a circumpolar breeding pattern. Know what that means? … ‘cuz I have no clue hehehe. Current guess is they only have sex when circling a polar bear. Trust me, I’m an Eggspert on dem der wingy things.
That’s all folks – my apologies again for the lack of pictures – good news is you could read the whole post without a jump.
2 thoughts on “Pin the Tail”
Interesting. I really like the palette of these birds. It proves that males can indeed wear brown and black and gray simultaneously, despite what my wife says. The green reflections in the water are strange, although they complement the palette very nicely. I thought at first that there was some kind of algae under the water that they were stirring up, but the first picture clearly shows the green in the reflection. Images on the web don’t show green in the bird.
Apparently circumpolar simply means near the poles, so they must breed up there.
I had to look at your tags to see where these shots were taken (“a thousand miles away”), although now I remember you mentioning that you would be continuing your posts from the Henderson Preserve in Nevada. I get where you’re coming from–if people don’t read this blog serially, without fail, you don’t want ’em reading it at all. Why try your patience with exposition? 🙂
So, regarding the green reflections you need to view in context of the scene. The water was indeed tinted green with algae, but the sun coming through ..or rather off the yellow leaves in the brush alongside caste another hue on it. The tails blocked that making the green more prevalent in that spot – there is no green on the bird.. otherwise we could have doubled our wardrobe combinations!
when you compare the two definitions of circumpolar can we agree that mine was better hehehe.. note, there was another cruder approach I was going to go with reference to the word construction but opted off of that for the kiddies.
Eesh.. that is two posts this month I’ve screwed up. Yes, these shots were indeed taken at Henderson Nevada. Not sure of the exact mileage, but went with a general number. Now, I highly recommend reading my posts serially but I’ll try to be better to accommodate those readers who tend to simply skip posts due to lack of interest or not enough pictures hehehe
Thanks for the read