Leif Taylor, Searletown – President
James Butler, Alliston – Vice President
Trevor MacDonald – Secretary
Stephen Webster, Tarantum – Treasurer
Volume 33 Number 5 November, 2015
Editor’s note: A year ago, I ran an article here highlighting some of the breeds of wild waterfowl. This is a continuation of that series. These are breeds which are not recognized in the Standard of Perfection.
RING-NECKED DUCK: Although male ring-necked ducks superficially resemble their counterparts in greater and lesser scaup, their peaked, angular head profile, distinctive white bill markings and uniformly upper wings distinguish them. Female ring-necked ducks mostly resemble female redheads, but are distinguished by their smaller size; peaked, angular head profile; and pale region around the face. Male ring-necked ducks have an iridescent black head, neck, breast and upperparts. The belly and flanks are whitish to greyish, with a distinctive triangular white wedge extending upward in the area in front of the folded wing. The bill is slate with a white border around the base and nares, and a pale white band behind the black tip.
The “ringneck” name is derived from a faintish brown ring around the base of the neck, which is visible only upon close examination. The legs and feet are grey-blue and the iris is yellow. Ring-necked ducks are silent except in display, when a low whistling note is uttered. Female ring-necked ducks have a brown head with a black crown, light brown cheecks and chin, and a white eye ring. A narrow white line extends from the eye to the back of the head. The bill is slate with a faint white band near the tip. The neck, back, sides, and flank are brown and the belly is white. The legs and feet are grey-blue and the iris is brown. Females vocalize a soft, rolling “rrrr”.
Ring-necked ducks breed from southeastern and east-central Alaska, central British Columbia eastward through northern Saskatchewan to Newfoundland, and south to northeastern California, southern Arizona, southern Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, northern New York and Massachusetts. They prefer sedge-meadow marshes, swamps and bogs surrounded by woody vegetation. Female ring-necked ducks nest in flooded or floating emergent vegetation and lay and average of 8-10 eggs.
The majority of ring-necked ducks migrate through the Central and Mississippi flyways to inland wintering grounds along the Gulf of Mexico and the southern Atlantic coast of the United States. In winter, ring-necked ducks use a variety of habitats, such as fresh and brackish marshes, shallow lakes, estuarine bays and coastal lagoons. Ring-necked ducks are winter visitors to Central America and the northern Carribean, and vagrant to Trinidad and Venezuela.
Ring-necked ducks dive in shallow water to feed on the tubers, seeds, and leaves of moist-soil and aquatic plants (pondweeds, water milfoil, hydrilla, sedges, grasses, wild rice, etc.). They also eat aquatic insects, and snails.
TUFTED DUCK: Male Tufted ducks closely resemble their counterparts, ring-necked ducks. The principle difference is the tuft of feathers that fall behind the head. In addition, the sides are white rather than grey, the bill lacks a white margin at the base and in flight a white stripe at the back of the inner wing is displayed. The female Tufted duck is similar in appearance to the female scaup, but is black-brown with a smaller patch of white at the base of the bill. At the back of the head, there is a small protuberance of feathers, which is much smaller than the male’s.
Tufted ducks breed across Eurasia and the British Isles east across Russia and Siberia to the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Commander Islands. There are no breeding records of Tufted ducks in North America. Female Tufted ducks nest on island in lakes or on sloped banks of small wetlands in reeds, tufts of grass or under bushes close to water. They lay an averge of 9 eggs.
In winter, Tufted ducks can be found as far south as the Mediterraean Sea, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf, southern India, Thailand, and the Phillippines. In North America, the Tufted duck is a regular visitor to western Alaska and a rare visitor along the east coast south to Maryland and the west coast to southern California.
Altough no reliable estimates exist, populations are generally considered to be stable or increasing in most areas.
Tufted ducks dive to feed on roots, seeds and buds of aquatic plants; clams; snails; aquatic insects and sometimes amphibians and small fish. They also skim flies and duckweed on the water’s surface.
BARROW’S GOLDENEYE: In flight, a Barrow’s Goldeneye is difficult to distinguish from a Common Goldeneye. A puffy, oval-shaped head; steep forehead and stubby triangular bill help distinguish it from a resting Common Goldeneye. The male Barrow’s Goldeneye has a glossy purplish head with a cresent-shaped white patch between the eye and bill. The dark back contrasts with the white neck, breast and belly. The scapulars are black with a distinctive row of rectangular white spots. The white greater coverts are tipped with black, forming a black band between the white speculum and the white patch on the greater coverts. The bill is black and the legs and feet are yellowish. The female Barrow’s Goldeneye has a dark chocolate-brown head with a narrow whitish collar. The back and sides are dapple-grey and the chest, breast, and belly are white. The bill is fleshy-yellow with a blackish basal area and nail. The legs and feet are yellowish.
Barrow’s Goldeneyes breed in southeastern Alaska, northern MacKenzie region and northerwestern British Columbia, south to eastern Washington, southwestern Oregon, eastern California, the Colorado Rockies, Quebec, Labrador, Greenland, and Iceland. Barrow’s Goldenyes nest in wooded or open country, near a lake or pond surrounded by dense vegetation, usually in a natural tree cavity, abandoned woodpecker hole, nest box, rock cavity or stream bank. They often nest in the same area in successive years, and females lay an average of 6-12 eggs.
In winter, Barrow’s Goldeneyes are often oberved in large flocks on lakes, rivers, estuaries and bays from southern Alaska along the west coast of the United States to central California; locally from southern British Columbia and northern Montana to northern Nevada, Utah, and Colorado and from the Gulf of St. Lawrence south to New York, rarely to South Carolina.
Barrow’s Goldeneyes dive to feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans, small fish, fish eggs and pondweeds found in freshwater habitats, and mollusks (especially blue mussels), seastars and marine worms found in marine habitats.
NOTES OF INTEREST
November 23 (week) – Fall I.L.T. Vaccination
December 7 – NEXT MEETING & Christmas Social (Atlantic Vet College, 7:30. Use main entrance)
-CLUB ITEMS FOR SALE: T-shirts – $13.00 and Crests – $4.00. Contact the secretary for items. They make great Christmas gifts for the fancier in the family.
-A reminder that the December meeting will be followed by our annual Christmas Social. Members are asked to bring something for lunch (sandwiches, sweets, etc) to be served following the meeting.
-The Fall I.L.T. Vaccination application forms are enclosed with this month’s newsletter. If you have birds to be vaccinated, please fill out the form and forward it to me as soon as possible. Please note that this is ONLY for birds that were NOT done in the spring.
-Congratulations to the members who showed at the recent Nova Scotia Fall Classic. Island exhibitors did very well.
-Island members are once again showing poultry at the Royal Winter Fair. A report on the winnings at the Royal will appear in the December newsletter.
-Congratulations to John Blaisdell who won $22,000 in the recent Montague Rotary Club draw!!
-Two Island members recently exhibited at the Rockton World’s Fair in Rockton, Ontario. Jeremy Ludyka had Champion Old English Black Old English cock which went on to be Reserve Bantam and Reserve Land Fowl), Champion Medium Duck (Cayuga old male which went on to be Reserve Duck and Reserve Waterfowl), and Champion Light Goose (Coloured Egyptian old male which went on to be Champion Goose). Trevor MacDonald had Champion Continental (White Hamburg pullet which went on to be Champion Standard), Champion A.O.S.B. (Black-Red Modern Game pullet), and Champion S.C.C.L. ( S.C. Rhode Island Red cockerel). Our Ontario member Greg Oakes was chairman of the show and had Champion American (White Chantecler cock which went on to be Reserve Standard), Champion A.O.C.C.L. (White Chantecler cock), and Champion Turkey (Bronze old male). My apologies if I missed any of Greg’s other champions.
NOVEMBER 11 IS REMEBRANCE DAY
Editor’s note: Following are the champions from the 2000 Spring Show. That year saw 725 birds shown. The judges were Rick Porr of Pennsylvania; Robert Ridler of Ontario; and Bill English from New Brunswick. The show was held at the Charlottetown Civic Centre.
Champion Standard – S.C. White Leghorn Cock – Bun Hollingsworth, NS (GRAND CHAMPION)
Reserve Standard – White Wyandotte Hen – Merle Watson, NS
Champion Bantam – Barred Plymouth Rock Cock – Giselle LeBlanc, NB
Reserve Bantam – Black Old English Game Cock – Twin Sickles Game Ranch, PEI
Champion Goose – Grey Toulouse Goose – Colbourne Clow, PEI
Reserve Goose – Grey Toulouse Gander – Colbourne Clow, PEI
Champion Duck – White Indian Runner Drake – James Carson, NB
Reserve Duck – White Call Duck – Morris & Blanchard Ross, NS
Champion Turkey – Wild Tom – Giselle LeBlanc, NB
Champion Pigeon – Barred Ice Pigeon Cock – Twin Sickles Game Ranch, PEI
Reserve Pigeon – Opal Show Pen Racer Hen – Glen Ryan, PEI
Champion Game Fowl – Pearl Guinea Cock – Charlotte MacDonald, PEI
Reserve Game Fowl – Yellow Golden Pheasant Cock – Glen Ryan, PEI
Champion Junior Standard – R.C. White Leghorn Hen – Zach Piers, NB
Champion Junior Bantam – Birchen Modern Game Hen – Nick O’Brien, NB
Champion Junior Waterfowl – White Indian Runner Drake – Nick O’Brien, NB
Champion Junior Pigeon – Blue Bar Lahore Hen – Jeff Johnson, NB
It is hard to believe it is November already. Much to our surprise, the Island has already seen one coating of snow! Hopefully that is not a sign of what lies ahead this winter. The Maritime show season has wrapped up; the Nova Scotia Fall Classic was the last show for the year. Despite having to move the show from Truro to Middle Musquodoboit, they were able to hold a very successful 40th anniversary event.
On Thanksgiving weekend, Jeremy Ludyka and I made a trip to Ontario with a load of birds. We showed at Rockton Fair (as mentioned in the Notes of Interest). We had a great time and were treated royally. It was great to visit with many poultry and pigeon friends there and to meet some new people as well. We also journeyed to Brigden Fair (near Sarnia) that weekend where I had the pleasure of judging the pigeon show. The weather all weekend was like summer and we had a super trip!!
Don’t forget to send in your ILT forms if you have birds to be done. Also, you will need to have your Property Identification Form submitted to the Department of Agriculture in order to get birds done.