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October 20, 2016

Mallards Dabbling Near Shore on a Rainy Day

These Mallards were seen dabbling (as they do) around the Sapsucker Woods Pond shoreline. Easily recognizable, Mallards are one of the best examples of a sexually dimorphic species, meaning that males and females appear differently from one another. Sexual Dimorphism can manifest in a variety of interesting ways, including differences in color, shape, size and other secondary sexual characteristics. The most striking example in the Mallards' case is the differences in the male and female plumages. For most of the year, the dark green sheen of the head, ringed neck, pale body, and curved central tail feathers set male Mallards apart from their streaky brown female counterparts. 

October 20, 2016

Blackbirds and Grackles Commandeer the Cornell Feeders

This eerie clip from the Cornell Feeders is reminiscent of a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie – fitting for late October. Here, Common Grackles and Red-winged Blackbirds commandeer the feeder and its surrounding areas. Grackles, blackbirds, starlings, and cowbirds often forage together in large mixed-species flocks outside of the breeding season. Traveling together in this way may allow individuals to become more efficient foragers. With more eyes available to scan for predators and alarm the group of danger, the birds can be more focused on finding food than standing watch. 

October 20, 2016

Canada Geese Depart From Sapsucker Woods

Watch as a gaggle of Canada Geese depart from the Sapsucker Woods Pond and head south over the wooded sanctuary.