Tag: bluewingedteal

Two more duck photography pages are live, and other news

So there are two more duck pages live under the bird photography tab (specifically under the ‘water birds’ and then the ducks, swan, and geese family).

So, as I mentioned in several posts—I’m slowly trying to update/add to the site to account for wanting to move a little more into the three niches that I’d picked out for concentrating on for writing (personal/professional development, health/wellness, and science/medical writing/communications). One of the things I’ve been trying to do is ensure that there is a single line of tabs at the top of the page—and that if there is a drop down menu, all items are still visible on the screen.

The one section that will probably be ‘changing’ slightly as I work on this aspect is the combo birding/photography tab—mainly because of how many bird pages I have currently up.

With that said—the two new duck pages that have been added are for the Northern Shoveler and the Blue-winged Teal.

Both of these birds are migratory and/or winter residents within Oklahoma.

I’ve only managed to spot the blue-winged teal as it makes its way north in the spring (I have yet managed to make it up to Boomer in the late summer to catch them as they are one of the first ducks to migrate south in the late summer/early fall).

Blue-winged teals swimming in Boomer Lake

The northern shovelers will both migrate through the state, and a few of them will even winter around Boomer Lake—so I’ve managed to spot these guys several times in both the winter and early spring.

Northern Shovelers swimming in Boomer Lake

While the peak of fall migration has passed, there are still birds migrating south—hopefully I’ll be able to spot a few other species over the next few weeks (especially if I can manage to get up to the lake just as the sun is coming up).

What is your favorite fall migratory bird to spot?

No Comments bird watchingcareernatureoutdoorsPersonal DevelopmentPhotographyprofessional developmentUpdates

Turtles and Blue-winged Teals: Double “T” Photography Challenge Day 39

Today’s photograph is a double “T”–some teals (specifically blue-winged) and some turtles. The turtles might be a little harder to find, but they’re in the picture.

Some blue winged teals and some turtles basking in the sun

The male blue-winged teals (Spatula discors) have a bluish-gray head with a white crescent in front of the eye (and this only during the breeding season), and they also have dark speckling on their breast. They are migratory birds, and Oklahoma is within their migratory path (though the panhandle of Oklahoma and a little bit of the northern board with Kansas is also within their breeding area). I’m not use to seeing the males in all their colors—I’m use to the blue on their wings, but this is the first time that I’ve caught a picture of their blue-gray heads as well.

Some interesting facts:

They can winter as far south as South America, they have a small spot in Texas where they possibly can be found year round, and they are basically absent in California (with the exception of the bay area and the coast line).

Therefore these are some of the first birds to migrate in the fall, and some of the latest to migrate in the spring.

They seem to be a warm weather duck—they’re largely absent from most of North America in the cold months.

Their diet consists of mainly plant material, especially seeds of various grasses. Depending on the season, they may also eat snails and insects.

The young leave the nest within the first day foraging for their own food—though they don’t “leave-leave” the nest until they’re able to fly, which is about five to six weeks after hatching.

Ring-necked pheasants sometimes lay eggs in blue-winged teal nests.




The other member of the photograph is the red-eared slider (Trachemys script elegans). This is an semiaquatic turtle, that has become a popular pet turtle in the US. Since it has become so popular (and due to both intentional and unintentional releases), it is also listed as one of the world’s 100 most invasive species.

Though it is difficult to see in this picture the red marking along the ear (that gives them their name). So I’d mentioned that they are a popular pet—well with any pet, there are always issues such as biting and nipping. Turtles as they get older develop stronger jaws and if they bite—it is probably quite painful (luckily I’ve never been bitten by a turtle), and since they are known carriers of Salmonella bacteria—they could easily infect humans with Salmonella if they aren’t properly handled. This has caused them to be released in areas that they wouldn’t be found normally and therefore have become invasive in and are out competing native species.

It has been nice to see numerous sliders and other aquatic turtles this winter/spring at the lake, as the weather changes more and more—more and more species are going to be become vulnerable to the extremes (reptiles and amphibians, along with insects being at the forefront), and if we don’t work to help dial back the damage—they could be gone within a couple of decades if not sooner.



No Comments bird watchingnaturePhotography