Tag Archives: Ducks

Could we sneak by without a winter?

Today’s Scientific American has a story here explaining why we have not had a winter yet. Something about the NAO or North Atlantic Oscillation keeping the jet stream straight and high to the north of us. Could it stay up there? They can’t seem to predict that. What? Can’t predict the weather? I wouldn’t mind if spring arrived sometime early February. I bet you could go out and clip some forsythia to force right now. Go ahead. Meanwhile …

This was shot February 27th of last year. Click the photo for a shot of Motif #1 the same day. So we need to sneak past February before we can start thinking that we have skipped an entire winter.

Brace of Baffled Buffleheads

photo of buffleheads

Photo by E.J. Lefavour

Did you know that the Bufflehead, (a small diving duck, mostly white with glossy green-black to purple-black head and back), was first described in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist. They nest almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers. Unlike many ducks, it is mostly monogamous, often remaining with the same mate for several years. A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a “brace”, “flush”, “paddling”, “raft”, and “team” of ducks. Buffleheads are one of my favorite shorebirds and I watch for their arrival in late fall. They are little, very cute and have the coolest name. I don’t know if these are actually baffled, although they did look a little confused in the snow trying to find each other.