This winter had provided us with many opportunities to watch birds. We have been delighted to discover that so many species stay in our area during the winter, over 150 have been recorded by some dedicated bird watchers. You may be able to find a list for your area by searching in google. I simply typed in Nova Scotia, birds, winter and came up with the link above.
We have learned that beyond the backyard feeder a great location to spot birds in the winter is any place there is open water. When I say open water I mean water that has not been totally frozen over. We recently had the opportunity to go on a winter bird walk with our local Young Naturalist Club and were excited to see so many different types of birds in a pond with open water, right in the middle of the city.
In the picture above are male and female mallards and black ducks. It was great to see up close the differences between the female mallards and the black ducks. The black ducks are much darker and have more uniform coloring but they are often mistaken for female mallards by armature bird watchers like us.
If you are not sure where to find open water this winter you may want to call your local parks and recreation department, ranger station or Museum of Natural History. You could also try to contact an Audubon Society chapter in your area or simply take a drive out to your local ponds, lakes, rivers or shore line. You might be surprised at who you will find hanging around this winter.
Happy bird watching!