Son: I don’t know, they haven’t taught us how to read yet!
Interesting Fact: The Black Scoter is divided into two subspecies. In the form found in Europe, the “Common Scoter,” the male has a larger swollen knob at the base of the upper bill that is black on the sides with a yellow stripe on top, not entirely yellow. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black_Scoter/lifehistory )
Which two letters in the alphabet are always jealous?
Interesting Fact: In Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia, the original domesticated geese are derived from the greylag gooseAnser anser. In eastern Asia, the original domesticated geese are derived from the swan gooseAnser cygnoides; these are commonly known as Chinese geese. Both have been widely introduced in more recent times, and modern flocks in both areas (and elsewhere, such as Australia and North America) may consist of either species, and/or hybrids between them. Chinese geese may be readily distinguished from European geese by the large knob at the base of the bill, though hybrids may exhibit every degree of variation between them. ( https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_goose )
Interesting Fact: It used to be a strictly coastal bird in winter, seldom leaving tidal estuaries, where it feeds on eel-grass (Zostera marina) and the seaweed, sea lettuce (Ulva). On the east coast of North America, the inclusion of sea lettuce is a recent change to their diet, brought about by a blight on eelgrass in 1931. This resulted in the near-extirpation of the brant. The few that survived changed their diet to include sea lettuce until the eelgrass eventually began to return. Brants have maintained this diet ever since as a survival strategy. In recent decades, it has started using agricultural land a short distance inland, feeding extensively on grass and winter-sown cereals. This may be behavior learned by following other species of geese. Food resource pressure may also be important in forcing this change, as the world population has risen over 10-fold to 400,000-500,000 by the mid-1980s, possibly reaching the carrying capacity of the estuaries. In the breeding season, it uses low-lying wet coastal tundra for both breeding and feeding. The nest is bowl-shaped, lined with grass and down, in an elevated location, often in a small pond. ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brant_(goose) )
Interesting Fact: Common Mergansers spend much of their time afloat, loafing, fishing, and often sleeping on open water. They may form flocks of up to 75 individuals. They often swim in small groups along the shoreline, dipping their heads underwater to search for prey and then diving with a slight leap. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Merganser/lifehistory )
Interesting Fact: Normally found in eastern North America, American Black Ducks occasionally show up on the West Coast, Europe, and even Asia. Some of these birds may be escaped pets, but others are known to be wild ducks: for instance, one female banded in New Brunswick, Canada, turned up later in France. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Black_Duck/lifehistory )
What do you get when you cross fish and an elephant?
Interesting Fact: Young often remain with their parents for their entire first year, especially in the larger subspecies. As summer wanes birds become more social; they may gather in large numbers at food sources; where food is limited and patchy, may compete with displays and fights. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canada_Goose/lifehistory )
Interesting Fact: Canada Geese eat grain from fields, graze on grass, and dabble in shallow water by tipping forward and extending their necks underwater. During much of the year they associate in large flocks, and many of these birds may be related to one another. They mate for life with very low “divorce rates,” and pairs remain together throughout the year. Geese mate “assortatively,” larger birds choosing larger mates and smaller ones choosing smaller mates; in a given pair, the male is usually larger than the female. Most Canada Geese do not breed until their fourth year; less than 10 percent breed as yearlings, and most pair bonds are unstable until birds are at least two or three years old. Extra-pair copulations have been documented. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canada_Goose/lifehistory )
Interesting Fact: Wood Ducks feed by dabbling or short, shallow dives. They are strong fliers and can reach speeds of 30 mph. Wood Ducks are not territorial, with the exception that a male may fight off other males that approach his mate too closely. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wood_Duck/lifehistory )
Interesting Fact: Mallards are generalist foragers and will eat a wide variety of food. They don’t dive, but dabble to feed, tipping forward in the water to eat seeds and aquatic vegetation. They also roam around on the shore and pick at vegetation and prey on the ground. During the breeding season, they eat mainly animal matter including aquatic insect larvae, earthworms, snails and freshwater shrimp. During migration, many Mallards consume largely agricultural seed and grain. In city parks, they readily accept handouts from parkgoers. ( https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mallard/lifehistory )