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  • Writer's pictureTerry Wise

Bird Watching While Sheltering in Place!

Today was the first full day of "shelter in place" as we all band together to contain the COVID-19 virus.

So I took some time to watch activity on Carillon Stonegate Pond and around our feeder. And it did not disappoint.

Three of the more interesting birds are shown below.

First, a male and female Ring-necked Duck spent most of the day roaming Carillon Stonegate Pond West. While there were more than a dozen mallards also on our pond, there was no interaction with the Ring-necked Ducks. The male has unique coloration that stands out - large white areas on their sides contrasting with their all black coloring; a white band around their beak; and orange, beady eyes. These ducks are not dabblers like Mallards who will stick their head into the water to feed on plants. Rather the Ring-necked Duck will dive down into the pond to find plants to feed on.

And at our feeder, a Red-bellied Woodpecker appeared numerous times to fill up on bird seed before flying off to their nest in the woodland area just north of Carillon Stonegate Pond. The name does not truly describe this bird's main characteristic: a burning red band on its head. While there is red on its belly, it is not very noticeable.

Finally, the Great Blue Herons have started to arrive on their spring migration. This lovely bird appeared and spent hours rounding the shore of Carillon Stonegate Pond looking for food. The stark coloration of its face really stood out - especially that band of black around its eyes!

So as we continue over the next 13 days of the "shelter in place" directive, I hope that everyone remains well and finds some activity to do in their homes. Of course, I will continue to gaze out onto Carillon Stonegate Pond hoping to see the next species of birds that are migrating back north.

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