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Birds


Swans. Photo by David Rees.

Birds are a frequent sight when you're on the waterfall exploration trail! This section is dedicated to the various species you can expect to come across, as well as photos and in-depth descriptions.

SNOW OWL

The Snowy Owl is a large, diurnal white Owl that has a rounded head, yellow eyes and black bill. The feet are heavily feathered. A distinctive white Owl, their overall plumage is variably barred or speckled with thin, black, horizontal bars or spots. Females and juveniles are more heavily marked than males - adult males may be almost pure white, although they have up to three tail bands. Adult females are distinctly barred throughout, and have from four to six tail bands. Immatures are very heavily barred throughout, and dark spotting may codominate or dominate the overall plumage. Intensity of dark spotting varies with the sex of the immatures, females being the darkest. Juveniles are uniformly brown with scattered white tips of down.


 

Snow Owl
Snow Owl. Photo by Chris Ecklund. Click to enlarge.
Snow Owl
Snow Owl. Photo by Chris Ecklund. Click to enlarge.

KILLDEER

Medium-sized shorebird.
Legs moderately long.
Neck short.
Back brown.
Underparts white with two black bands on chest.

Size: 20-28 cm (8-11 in)
Wingspan: 46-48 cm (18-19 in)
Weight: 75-128 g (2.65-4.52 ounces)

Snow Owl
Killdeer. Photo by Chris Ecklund. Click to enlarge.
Snow Owl
Killdeer. Photo by Chris Ecklund. Click to enlarge.

THE TURKEY VULTURE

The Turkey Vulture is one of North America's largest birds of prey. It reaches a length of 32 inches with a wing span of 6 feet. Its overall color is brown-black with a featherless, red head, white bill and yellow feet among mature adults. Immature birds have a darker face. Although usually silent, the bird will occasionally emit a soft hiss or groan.

In flight, the Turkey Vulture rocks from side to side, rarely flapping its wings which are held at a V-angle called a dihedral. Silver-gray flight feathers look lighter than the black lining feathers of the underwing. Its long tail extends beyond its legs and feet in flight.

Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture. Photo by Chris Ecklundt. Click to enlarge.
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture. Photo by Chris Ecklund. Click to enlarge.

THE MUSCOVY DUCK

Muscovies are the only domestic ducks that are not derived from Mallard stock. They are a South American species. The original (wild type) coloration is black and white, but domestication has produced many more colors, including white, black, chocolate, and blue. The males are large, weighing up to twelve pounds, with the smaller females reaching only seven (I have heard of one Australian strain bred for market, in which a dressed male reached nearly 20 lb and took two people to restrain). Their feet have strong sharp claws and are built to grasp, so that they can perch on branches

Muscovy Duck
Muscovy Duck. Photo by Chris Ecklund. Click to enlarge.
Muscovy Duck
Muscovy Duck. Photo by Chris Ecklundt. Click to enlarge.

 

 

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