[Ontbirds]Breeding pair of Ruddy Ducks (Hearst area)
marcjohnson at ntl.sympatico.ca
Sat Jul 2 12:25:30 EDT 2005
A short visit last evening to some lagoons in our area prior to bringing the kids to the July 1st fireworks display yielded an interesting and rare find. A breeding pair of ruddy ducks swimming around with the families of lesser scaup, ring necks, mallards, and Bonaparte gulls.
Coincidently these lagoons are in one of the squares I am atlassing for the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas, so they will make the list. In flipping through the currrent 1987 Atlas, and various bird books, these 2 may be the furthest north of any recorded breeding pair in the province. These were not there when I left on June 13th for an Atlassing trip along the Albany River in the Hudson Bay lowlands, so they apparently are late arrivals with no young that I have noticed.
Apparently they have been known to return to the same nesting locations in subsequent years if there are no major alterations of habitat, so it will be interesting to see if this comes about.
The male is very skittish, and it has been difficult to get any close pictures and I do not want to stress them by getting closer than my telephoto lens will bring me. He dives at the drop of a hat, and will surface with only his head above water which looks rather comical. I have some distant pics of the pair of them if any one is interested, and a few closer ones of the female.
Senior Fish and Wildllife Technician
Hearst District Ministry of Natural Resources
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