Friday, May 10, 2013

Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks Perched on a Powerline

Earlier this morning I made my daily jaunt to pick up my daily jolt of go-juice at Starbucks (my cardiologist now allows me one cup of high-octane coffee per day - I knew I liked my cardiologist).  As I was driving out of the parking lot I noticed two very large lumps perched on the power line that sits adjacent to University Parkway.  My initial thought, given their size and the time of year, was that they were Black Vultures.  However on closer  inspection I was surprised to see a pair of Black-bellied Whistling-Ducks swaying back and forth trying to stay upright on the power line.

I've seen Wood Ducks perched on power lines before but until today they were the only species of duck that I have witnessed doing so. Wood Ducks are considerably smaller than Black-bellied Whistling-Duck and accordingly have a much lower center of gravity making the act of balancing on a thin wire that much easier for them.   It must have been quite an accomplishment for a duck as big as a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck to curl its webbed feet around a wire and then try to remain upright for as long as these two did.

It seems that the longer I observe nature the more I find that I don't know about nature.


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