Mostly winter ducks and swans

Photos taken in Hyde Park (Chicago) area during the last couple of weeks.

Field trip suggestion:  Walk around the outer harbor to see the swans.  You can park in the 63rd Street Beach lot off of Lake Shore Drive and walk south around the outer harbor or you can park in the La Rabida parking lot.  To get there:  turn left on Marquette Drive when LSD ends and then turn left into the La Rabida parking lot at the first stoplight.  I like to stay left and park at the turn around at the north end of the hospital property.   I saw swans twice on December 30th. In the morning  (in front of old coast guard station, 6400s) and afternoon (northwest end of La Rabida parking lot, I had to walk by the edge of the water to see them)  Seize the day if you want to see them; they aren’t always there!

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I usually see mute swans in the outer harbor only when it is very cold but this year I saw a couple on a 50 degree day.

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Mute swan accompanied by cygnet (less than a year old)

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Mute swans are very big birds.  Use the two mallards in the background for scale

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It is quite cold today and more swans have arrived.  The first six are mute swans, adults and cygnets  but the last one with the black bill is probably another kind of swan, maybe a trumpeter swan?

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juvenile herring gull

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On very cold days, many birds spend a lot of time preening to keep ice from forming on their wings

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American coots with ice on their wings

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American coot puffing her feathers up to stay warm

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female red-breasted merganser on a warmer day

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female red-breasted merganser on a cold day deciding whether to get up or stay curled up sleeping

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female red-breasted merganser resting on a slab of ice

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size comparison of male red-breasted merganser and female common goldeneye

 

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lots of male common goldeneyes, leading duck on left has ice on his wings

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male common goldeneye on warmer day

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redhead

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redhead

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canvasback ducks also have a red head (one male and two females here)

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From left to right in middle of photo- redhead and then 3 canvasback ducks and a couple ring-necked ducks

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a better look at the ring-necked duck—

  • This species might better be called the “Ring-billed Duck,” for its chestnut neck ring is usually seen only at close range, while the white ring on the bill can be a prominent field mark.  From whatbird.com

 

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Lots of puffed up birds staying warm:  house sparrow on burning bush

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American Tree Sparrow – here in the winter, nests in the tundra in the summer

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american goldfinch

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northern cardinal eating pokeweed seeds

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downy woodpecker

 

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red-bellied woodpecker

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another view of red-bellied woodpecker

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On a clear day, you can see Navy Pier from 63rd Street Beach

3 comments on “Mostly winter ducks and swans

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