Friday, January 31, 2020

Life Abounds -- Even in Winter . . . An Explosion of Mallards

Check out a new video just posted to our YouTube channel -- make sure you turn up the volume to enjoy the satisfaction in Roy's simple narration; also click the square in the lower right (after clicking the Play arrow) to see the video in full-screen mode (click Esc to leave full-screen)

This was another week dominated by time behind a computer. It was also another week dominated by constant cloud cover and temperatures cold enough to give the illusion of being cold without being consistent enough to produce frozen ground (much less much frozen water or snow). It continues to be muddy, damp, and dark.

That's why the video -- taken by Roy late this afternoon and sent to me just this evening -- made my day. It can be tempting to hole up indoors when the weather does what it is doing . . . especially when it does so for days (and even weeks) in a row. Because the lush greens of spring and summer still seem like a lifetime away this time of year, it is also easy to convince oneself that all of nature is dormant for these dark months of winter. But the explosion of life captured over one single minute at Standing Rush -- yet another "Moment in the Marsh" -- is a good reminder that life abounds in a wetland -- 365 days out of every year.

P.S. People often ask "How many ducks just took off there?" Roy is pretty good at estimating, but I haven't had a chance to ask him how many he would guess were in front of the camera. Without being there in person, I'd really be guessing. But I'd say north of 1,000, and probably more like thousands. It was likely enough birds that you could literally FEEL their wing beats as they took flight. One thing that I can quantify is that all the birds in this video -- likely mostly mallards with a few black ducks sprinkled in -- were all using an area less than 20 acres in size. That's some duck density.