Wood ducks are stunning creatures, quite possibly one of the most beautiful native duck species in North America. Aptly named, their exotic coloring and stark, bold markings make them appear to have been carved from fine wood. As I learned from this afternoon's observation, however, they can also have quite the territorial attitude and do not tolerate any other male's attention to their perceived companions. Time will tell, of course, if this pairing is meant to last.
While all four of the ducks enjoyed the bread scraps, they also proceeded to snack on the black oil sunflower seed and millet. Not only would they take it from the ground, but one pair quickly found the recently filled platform feeder and decided that it was more convenient than ground feeding. They both tasted the peanuts, but wisely decided they weren't as tantalizing and left them for the scrub jay, who also visited this afternoon for his own treat.
The backyard excitement didn't end there, either. Earlier today, I spotted the first of the returning Cassin's finches. There is also an unusual yellow marked bird that has stumped my identification techniques; I've asked Bill Fenimore for assistance on that one and will spread the word as soon as I know. With all the excitement that I've had today, I hope your backyards are just as entertaining!