Bird blogging is a privilege, in that recounting one’s birding excursions is a lot more fun when an audience actually follows the action. I’ve always loved sharing the details of my trips, but discovered early that writing the same species over and over became dreadfully tedious. Back in 2007, I tried to streamline my bird blogging workflow by establishing some expedient shorthand for trip reports.
Waterfowl represented the first group of birds on my list for what should be obvious reasons. Although winter presents the best opportunities for spotting a diversity of waterfowl, the same handful of species makes up at least 90% of all sightings in the New York Metro area no matter what time of year it is. I later found that these three species dominate across the entire Empire State and the rest of the northeastern United States…
Mallard (a big deal everywhere!)
If I wanted to stretch this list a little further, I’d look outside the standard swan-duck-goose waterfowl paradigm to other birds that foul water like the delightful Double-crested Cormorant. Really, birds from coots to grebes to loons might make the list if they’re common enough, but no species are more prevalent where I live than the three above.
What are your usual waterfowl?
along the Huron River in Michigan, I usually see Mute Swan, Mallard and Canada Goose (just like NYC) but there are also always/most of the times Common and Hooded Mergansers.
We also have Great Blue Herons and one lone Great White Egret, apparently the first one to winter around Ann Arbor, which is nice, and once in a while a bunch of semi-feral Trumpeter Swans makes an appearance on the river.
We do not, however, have cormorants in winter.
Good birding! Jochen
Ditto on the Canada geese, mallards, and mute swans. We don’t normally have double crested cormorants here in winter. That’s interesting to me because Massachusetts is not that far north of NYC. I wonder where the dividing line is?
My usual waterfowl are Mallard/Grey Duck Hybrids, Paradise Shelducks, and in my nearest patch Brown Teal and new Zealand Scaup. I can also get fairly reliable Black Swans up in Poiurua.
Duncan, I know those birds may be boring to you by now, but they sound so exotic from this side of the world!
I’m in Melbourne, Australia, and my three most common water birds on my regular walk would be Pacific Black Ducks, Australian Wood Ducks and Dusky Moorhens. While our 10 year drought was on there was a pair of Chestnut Teal, but they have gone, and there is sometimes a Little Pied Cormorant or an Australasian Grebe.
@Mike – I’m actually really fond of the Paradise Shelducks and Brown Teal. The Grey Duck (which is the same species as Sonja’s Pacific Black Duck) / mallard Hybrids not so much.
Plumed Whistling-duck, Pacific Black Duck and Australian Grey Teal.
Here in minnesota, my trio includes two of yours (Canada Goose and Mallard),but the Mute Swans are replaced by Wood Ducks.