Wood Ducks, Blue-winged Teals, Bald Eagles!

One very fun day at Fanny Stebbins Nature Refuge in Longmeadow, MA

This is the season for seeing the Wood Ducks. The males are in full “battle” array. The females also seem decked out with shiny iridescent feathers hidden in their wings. I happened upon a group of them in the late afternoon sun. One female and several males. They seemed quite restless. She was calling loudly repeatedly for a while. I couldn’t really determine which of the males was her mate, and that might have been part of the problem. Maybe he wasn’t there or there was some competition going on. This first group of shots is just a group of individual and group portraits in that beautiful light.

You can begin to see some of the tension between a couple of the males here. Finally it exploded into a full-out chase. Amazing colors blazing through the water! A moment later, they seem to be pals again, as you see in the last picture of the group.

The Blue-winged teals were quite active on this visit. There seemed to be one lone male and a pair. I watched the single bird dabbling as they do for quite a while and my patience paid off this time. He took a bit of a bird bath, shook himself off, showing his lovely colors.

Then he flew down the pond to where the pair were swimming around, again giving me a chance to see his blue and green wing colors.

And here is the pair of teals, just floating back and forth, eating a little and otherwise enjoying the evening, or so it seemed to me.

And finally there was a nice man who showed me a different view of the eagles’ nest – where I could actually watch the babies being fed. The parent flew in through the “back door” so I have no idea what she/he brought home for dinner, but they all three dug in with gusto! I think the one in the back got a bit short-changed. I hope the other parent came later with something to share with that one.

Having fed the kids, the parent then flew to a tree down the way and, after a moment, went even further down the pond.

And that is what I call a beautiful day at Fanny Stebbins!

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