Homeschool: Bird thoughts!

This Mandarin Duck is far from home. We discovered him at our local fishing hole. Of course, we didn't know it was a Mandarin. Upon getting home, we pulled out the bird books to find out what type it was.

We discovered that the Mandarin Duck breeds in eastern Siberia, China and Japan and winters in Southern China and Japan. There is a small free flying population in Britain stemming from the release of captive bred ducks. Also they are held in high esteem by the Japanese and the Chinese. In these countries, they serve as a symbol of happiness and marital fidelity.

Hmmm! So, what was it doing in a California pond?

Edited: I stand corrected -- this is a wood duck, common to California, but one I have never seen before. It really looks like a mandarin though because the wood duck and the mandarin are close relatives. They are the only members of the genus Aix and belong to the perching duck tribe Cairinini.

Thank you to the ladies of WTM. :)

These two love birds just couldn't figure out the bird feeder. I watched for 15 minutes while they walked around and around it. Mrs. tried perching on the top, but couldn't lean over to get the food out of the hole. Then she tried getting up on the perch, but couldn't balance on it. I decided to have pity on them and laid the feeder on its side. They are neat eaters. The blue jays come along and food flies everywhere.

Yes, the bird feeder is on the patio table....if I place it anywhere else in the yard, it is ignored.

The sparrows have built their nests in a tree close by and all the eggs have hatched. We can hear a chorus of tiny voices peeping for their moms and for food. Pretty soon we will have the joy of watching them learn to fly as they flit from bush to bush. It is an amazing site to see.

I love my yard.

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