Saturday, July 01, 2006

Badly named ducks

Black-bellied whistling ducks, splashing around

...or maybe they are just standing around

Duck overhead

Don't ask me why they are called black-bellied whistling ducks. Their bellies are brown, not black, and if they whistle I have not heard them do it. When I first started birdwatching they were called black-bellied tree ducks. I suppose the name was modified because they are more commonly found in shallow ponds, as you see in two of these photos, than in trees.

I think they should be called orange-nosed ducks. Their beaks are the vibrant orange of traffic warning cones.

These photos were taken south of Austin. We are near the northern edge of their range. Our ducks nest here, but migrate south to Mexico for the winter.

(Click any photo for a larger view.)

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