Wetland Birdlife: Resting, Diving, Hunting and Fishing

Officially, we’re more than 3 weeks into Spring, but this past weekend was really the seasonal turning point. Cold rain, residual surface ice and flooding prevailed, but have since yielded to very warm, sunny days and an early floral bloom in the lawn.

Wetland habitats were alive with ducks, geese, herons and birds of prey, presenting one last chance for observations and photos under winter conditions.


Hooded Merganser; Chenango Canal


Bufflehead; Leland Pond


Common Mergansers; Chenango Canal


Ring-necked Duck, hen; Woodman Pond


Ring-necked Ducks; Woodman Pond

In my peripheral vision there appeared to be several darkish clumps of cattails about 50 meters into the marsh. I drove a short distance, then pulled over. Something wasn’t quite right. The dark clumps of cattails were tipped in white…herons! There were 6 in an area no more than 20 meters across. All but one took flight seconds before I was in a position to photograph.



The river was at flood level, turbulent and muddy; in my mind, unfishable The Osprey seemed to agree. It was hunting/fishing over a flooded tributary and floodplain nearby.


Osprey; Chenango River floodplain


Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved..