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Mallard Ducks - Anas platyrhynchos

Mallard Ducks, Click to Enlarge Female Mallard, Click to Enlarge Female with chicks, Click to Enlarge

Mallard ducks are very common in the Adirondacks and occasionally, a pair can be seen in the Up Yonda Farm pond. Males have bright green heads, which draw the attention of predators, while females like the one in the picture are duller and often brown in color. This allows the females to be camouflaged while they are sitting on their nest and taking care of their young. Mallards like to eat many types of small fish and insects using their flat bills to search through the weeds in the pond.

 

Red-Tailed Hawk - Buteo jamaicensis

Red Tailed Hawk, Click to Enlarge Hawk Flying, Click to Enlarge 

   
The Red-tailed hawk belongs to a family of birds known as buteos and they are the most common member of that group. These birds are mostly brown above and white below, with some white on the wings. They get their name however, from their tail feathers, which are usually some shade of red. These birds have broad, rounded wings and are very strong fliers. Hawks love to eat small rodents, such as mice and rabbits. 

 

Broad-winged Hawk - Buteo platypterus

Broad-winged Hawk, Click to Enlarge Hawk Flying, Click to Enlarge 

   
The Broad-winged hawk belongs to a family of birds known as buteos and they are one of the smaller members of that group. They get their name becuase of their relatively short, broad wings which taper near the ends. Broad-winged Hawks are mostly dark brown above and white below, with horizontal barring on the chest. These birds are widespread throughout North and South America, prefering decidious forests as a place to breed. Broad-winged Hawks are often seen flying over the field at Up Yonda searching for mice and other small rodents to eat. 

 

Eastern Wild Turkey - Meleagris gallopavo

Wild Turkey, Click to Enlarge Turkey, Click to Enlarge 


Turkeys are the largest game birds in North America and are common in the Adirondacks. These birds can fly like the one in the picture and can be spotted roosting in trees, but are more often seen walking about, pecking for insects. Turkeys are mostly brown in color and males can be hard to distinguish from females. The best way is to look for a beard and/or spurs on the male turkeys. Males will have a long tuft of feathers that hang down from their chests called a beard and they will also have pointy spurs on their legs. Females won’t have either. 

 

Year Round Song Birds

Bluejay, Click to Enlarge Cardinal, Click to Enlarge Chickadee, Click to Enlarge

  
There are many songbirds that call Up Yonda Farm home all year round including; bluejays, cardinals and black-capped chickadees. These birds vary in size and color, but for the most part eat seeds and will visit feeders frequently. This allows for easy viewing and creats an opportunity for listening to their delightful songs.  

 

Eastern Bluebird - Sialia sialis

Male Bluebird, Click to Enlarge Female Bluebird, Click to Enlarge 

  
The Eastern Bluebird is a small songbird and recognized as the state bird of New York. However, it is sometimes confused with the much larger Blue Jay. Male bluebirds are dark blue, while the females are paler and both have red on their chest. These birds are cavity nesters so can be easily attracted to nest boxes. Bluebirds eat insects like moths, grasshoppers and crickets.