Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wood Ducks at likely nest tree in Harahan

This morning in the fog in Harahan I heard a strange sound, similar to the muffled fussing noises made by young woodpeckers in a tree cavity.  I approached the large roadside Sweet Gum they were emanating from, to find a pair of Wood Ducks perched 35 feet up in front of a tree cavity.  The tree is alive and of substantial girth, but its top half is missing- apparently snapped by some past windstorm.  The noise was coming from the hen Woodie, whose slightly-open bill quivered as she produced it.  I retrieved my camera and returned, to find the male had taken over making the noise.  It seemed they were prospecting this as a nesting site.   

Wood Ducks nest regularly in residential areas near the River; I once stopped traffic on River Road near Jefferson Playground to let a hen and her entourage of ducklings cross onto the levee and then into the batture.  Someone told me that years ago the eaves of their grandfather's house in the first block off River Road in Jefferson was a regular nesting site.  The spot I saw them in this morning was much farther from the River- if used, it will require quite a trek for the young.


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