Water Birds

As I reported sometime back in this blog, to the back and north of my house in Columbia, Maryland, is a pond perhaps a hundred feet in diameter surrounded by mature trees. Water reeds fill something like half the pond, and it attracts birds of every variety.

Among the fowl drawn to my little pond are ducks and geese. The ducks are mallards with green heads and brown bodies. They appear in groups of a half a dozen or so, move through open sections of the pond, and stay in motion except when they perch on fallen trees sticking out of the water. They come for short visits, less than a day, then fly off again. They make no sound; if their movement over the surface of the water didn’t attract my attention, I would never have known they were there.

Far noisier are the Canadian geese who announce their arrival and departure with honks. The Canadian goose is a large wild bird with a black head and neck, white cheeks, white under its chin, and a brown body. Their numbers tend to be fewer than the ducks, usually no more than four or five, and they seem more active than the ducks, regularly flapping their wings to rise above the water and then return. Like the ducks, they stay in motion, exploring all sections of the pond not blocked by water reeds, and climbing up on partly submerged logs to rest.

For reasons I can’t fathom, the ducks and geese never alight on the pond when there are already waterfowl there. So I never see them together.

I thoroughly enjoy the birds. They intrigue me so much that I sometimes take binoculars out on my deck and watch them close up. They pay me no mind, as if my presence was irrelevant, and explore the pond until they’ve had enough and fly off to parts unknown.

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