Readers’ wildlife photos: A wood duck fairy tale

Again some amazing photos, scenarios too!

Why Evolution Is True

Reader Bruce Lyon sent what he calls a “wood duck fairy tale.”  Well, like the old timey fairy tales, it’s not all beer and skittles, but does have a happy ending. And there’s some nice biology included. The story stars a beleaguered mother wood duck (Aix sponsa), some predatory California scrub jays (Aphelocoma californica), and a protective California quail (Callipepla californica).

Bruce’s notes are indented.

My colleague John Eadie and I observed a bizarre natural history event at a wood duck nest. John has been studying within-species brood parasitism in several populations of these ducks near Davis, California for the past decade. Some background before the bizarre observation. Wood ducks lay eggs in each others’ nests with reckless abandon and we are trying to figure out the adaptive basis (if any) of this ‘conspecific brood parasitism’. Parasitism is so common that most nests seem to…

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna Cottage says:

    That picture of the Bird flying out of the box was incredible, the babies so cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mick Talbot says:

      Most definitely a fairy tale eh!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anna Cottage says:

    So lovely, I could watch nature forever. I know some people think of Squirrels as pests, I don’t and I have so many of them in my garden, they are just so funny the things they do, I could stand at the kitchen sink and watch them for hours, they give me so much pleasure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mick Talbot says:

      Ditto, reminds me had some house sparrows, a robin, and a blackbird, oh and a woodpigeon at the bird table today. Might sit at the laptop but camera always to hand. Which also reminds me the window needs a good clean.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Anna Cottage says:

    Don’t worry about cleaning the window (come round to me and do mine, I can’t reach them now) get the camera going would love to see the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mick Talbot says:

      Ha, ha, apart from the fact they needed doing, I clean them anyway as for the same reason as yours, Mrs is not up to it anymore. As for the pictures they were rubbish, however windows cleaned, camera ready, so we’ll see what happens later on today.

      Like

  4. Anna Cottage says:

    No cleaning windows is not easy, I bought myself a new household ladder safer than the last one, only trouble is this one is so heavy for me to lift so I have to drag it, only way to reach those windows. I look forward to those great pics I have no doubt you will take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mick Talbot says:

      No pics today, yet, windows done and dusted ☺

      Liked by 1 person

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