Maxwell Lake and the beaver ponds of Happy Creek are used as stopovers for a wide variety of migrating waterfowl. Peak numbers occur in May and early June.
Look for an angular head and a ring on the bill, not the neck. This diving duck prefers shallow wetlands. Females build their nests in early June over water in shoreline vegetation.
A small round diving duck nicknamed “butterball”. Both sexes have a prominent white area behind the eye. Prefers shallow wetlands surrounded by forest. Females nest in tree cavities, often an old pileated woodpecker hole.
Perhaps the best-known duck species in North America found in a wide variety of habitats. Feeds by dabbling in shallow water. Females build nests on the ground beside water or some distance away.
MORE ON ADAPTATIONS AND PLUMAGE.
Waterfowl include ducks, geese, and swans. Adaptations for life on water include webbed feet, waterproof plumage, and sensitive bills that can locate food by touch. Most male waterfowl have colourful plumage because the female selects the mate, and a male with a great suit of feathers has a better chance of being selected. Females must incubate eggs and usually have cryptic colours which help them hide from predators.
Did You Know? Every year a few broods of ring-necked and mallard ducklings appear on Maxwell Lake with their mothers in early July. Nesting boxes placed in Spring 2010 may lead to bufflehead and goldeneye broods in future years.