Readers’ wildlife videos

Nature videographer and regular Tara Tanaka (Vimeo page here, flickr page here) has a new video, one that features some of my favorite waterfowl. I think it’s one of the best videos she’s done to date, so be sure to watch. Tara’s Vimeo notes are indented.  I’ll be speaking in Tallahassee next month and have been invited to visit Tara’s home and see her famous blind. Perhaps I’ll see my first wood duck in the wild!

The Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual, worldwide event, took place on February 14-17 this year, and over a quarter million lists have been submitted to eBird.org so far. The second day was a spectacular winter day in Florida, and I spent the first two and the last three hours of daylight in my photo blind, which is currently located in our backyard cypress swamp that we manage as a wildlife sanctuary. This video represents the highlights of five hours of viewing condensed into five minutes. Enjoy!

27 Comments

  1. Posted February 20, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on ram H singhal note book.

  2. boudiccadylis
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    We have all sorts of wood ducks here in central Michigan. Going all the way to Florida just to see a wood duck seems a bit extreme. However, as you have other commitments makes it more reasonable. A few years ago as I was driving through a village mama wood duck was leading her brood across the street. Of course all traffic was mesmerized.

  3. Posted February 20, 2020 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    All of Taras’ videos are superb. They are always a visual feast.

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted February 20, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      +1

  4. merilee
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    🐾🐾

  5. rickflick
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    I see the egret wiggles it’s head before the strike. I guess it would serve to disguise itself as grass in the wind.

  6. Posted February 20, 2020 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks everyone for your nice comments! American Bitterns REALLY wave their necks, and I’ll try to put together a Bittern video soon.
    Tara

    • Posted February 20, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      That neck-waving is fascinating. I had seen it in other herons, but always assumed it was trying to avoid predators by moving with the foliage. Now I see that they are actually trying to fool their prey. Those were great sequences. I don’t recall seeing such good neck-waving video ever before.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful and peaceful. Thanks. I laughed when the drake missed the branch. I’m not a good person. 😊

    • Posted February 20, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Everyone laughed. Only his pride was injured :-).

      • rickflick
        Posted February 20, 2020 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        It’s interesting that the wood duck is the only duck (that I know of) that typically lands (and nests) in trees at all. There feet may be somewhat modified for this purpose. They otherwise must swim effectively in the manner of the rest of their type. It’s easy to understand why this fellow was not the best at it.

        • Posted February 20, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          I know that Black-bellied Whistling Ducks spend a lot of time in trees, and I think that Fulvous Whistling Ducks may too.

          • rickflick
            Posted February 20, 2020 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

            Looks like the hooded merganser does too:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDJw43BJtCE

            • Posted February 20, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

              We had a Hooded Merganser nest in a Wood Duck box in 2007 and again in 2008. We’ve had others lay eggs in boxes, but they were taken over by Wood Ducks or Black-bellied Whistling Ducks, so the Merganser mom didn’t get to incubate them. I’ve seen Wood Ducks jump out with Whistling Ducks, but no Mergansers — yet.

              • rickflick
                Posted February 20, 2020 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

                All after the same niche. 😎

            • Posted February 20, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

              That was great!

              • Barbara Radcliffe
                Posted February 20, 2020 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

                The Australian Wood Duck (also called maned duck or maned goose), Chenonetta jubata also nests in such a niche. See the Wikipedia article for photographs.

  8. merilee
    Posted February 20, 2020 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    So beautiful, Tara! Great editing. Is the big black bird with its wings extended an anhinga?

    • Posted February 20, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Merilee! Yes, that’s a male Anhinga; the females have brown heads. It’s not unusual to be looking out in the swamp and see one poke its head up out of the water, sometimes with an impaled fish!

      • merilee
        Posted February 20, 2020 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Anhingas are a hoot and make a very strange sound.

      • Posted February 20, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        What a wonderful yard you have!

        • Posted February 20, 2020 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

          Thanks Lou! It’s a 45-acre cypress swamp and we manage it as a wildlife sanctuary. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

          • Barbara C. Radcliffe
            Posted February 20, 2020 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

            Yes, a fantastic garden! Thank you for your photos and videos.
            Here in Adelaide we tell a story about a former head gardener of the Botanic Garden who lived in what we now call North Lodge. He bragged to his mates that he had the best back garden in Adelaide! Your probably have the best back garden in Florida!

            • Posted February 21, 2020 at 6:42 am | Permalink

              Thank you Barbara, I’m so glad you enjoy them. We’ve lived here almost 27 years, and I STILL can’t believe we get to wake up here every morning.

  9. Posted February 20, 2020 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant and exquisite work, Tara. I agree with Jerry… this is one of the best videos you’ve shared with us; I could watch them all day!

    • Posted February 21, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Thanks SP! I’m working on a new one now…


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