We found Greater White-fronted Geese, Northern Harriers, Red-shouldered Hawks and, my favorite, five Short-eared Owls at the Mt. Comfort Airport. You can read the prior post to find out a bit about "shorties".
This is a photo my friend Cheryl Harner took a few days ago at the Huron City Pier in Ohio of a female Long-tailed Duck. Just take this pic and double it, and you have the view we had today. Two females in winter plumage. These ducks truly enjoy diving, so we had to keep watching for them to surface. Up they would pop, then like miniature Houdinis, they would vanish below the surface.
Male Long-tailed Duck in winter plumage. Photo by Arthur Grosset from the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center.
The common name of the duck comes from the extremely long feathers that make up the tail of the male drake. Above is a picture of the male in winter plumage. Such a striking animal. A better look at the male bird swimming can be found at Internet Bird Collections.
The Long-tailed Duck graces the Federal Duck Stamp for the 2009-2010 season. A little known fact is that 98 cents of every dollar from duck stamp sales go to purchase or lease wetlands. This is critical for many duck species' survival. If you love ducks, I strongly urge you to support this wonderful program by buying your own duck stamp, today.