The autumn skies of the Chesapeake are filled with waterfowl as migratory flocks from the north join our year-round residents. Can you match up each bird with its description?
2. Canada goose
4. Common Goldeneye
5. Common Loon
6. Double-crested Cormorant
7. Greater Scaup
8. Old Squaw
10. Tundra Swan
A. A decrease in the migratory population was masked by an increase in resident populations. A hunting moratorium was imposed in 1995 to help the migrants rebound.
B. This bird’s call is described as a yodeling laugh. It is an excellent diver and swimmer, but moves very awkwardly on land.
C. This bird travels underwater using its wings and is able to dive as deep as 80 fathoms.
D. This is the smallest duck in North America and is often called the “butterball.” It breeds in tree cavities.
E. This bird is the most widespread of its kind in North America. It holds its long neck straight up, unlike its cousin, which gracefully curves its neck.
F. This bird is most frequently seen in huge rafts of thousands of birds. These birds will move to salt water when inland lakes freeze over.
G.When courting, the male’s call resembles a cat’s meow. It feeds on aquatic vegetation, usually at night.
H. Part of this bird’s scientific name, Vallisneria, comes from the name scientific name for wild celery, its principal food.
I. This bird will nest in a tree cavity, sometimes 60 feet above the ground. When nest sites are scarce, females may parasitize another nest. A male, when courting, will stretch its head forward over the water and quickly throw it upward to the sky while issuing a loud, rasping call.
J. This bird lacks the oil glands used by waterfowl to make their feathers waterproof. Thus, they are often seen perched with their wings half-open, drying in the sun.
Answers: 1. D 2. A 3. H 4. I 5. B 6. J 7. F 8. C 9. G 10. E
Bay Buddies / By Kathleen Gaskell - Bay Journal