Marsh Visitors

by Carl Strang

Yesterday we looked at one of the residents of Mayslake Forest Preserve’s stream corridor marsh, a predaceous diving beetle. Today’s focus is on a pair of migrant visitors, buffleheads, the first I have seen on that marsh.

The male is on the left, female on the right.

I have seen some of these ducks on the much larger May’s Lake, but seldom on such a small body of water. They seemed content, though. They liked it so much they stayed at least two days. Much of the time they were diving, and apparently finding enough insect larvae and snails to satisfy their needs.

I moved slowly, and never directly toward the birds, as I worked around the marsh. They stayed away, but never seemed alarmed.

I timed a few dives, and at 12-16 seconds the ducks were beneath the water about the same amount of time as when I observed members of this species on the much deeper Lake Maxinkuckee (at Culver, Indiana) in my youth. Their extended visit is yet another testimony to the improving quality of that marsh in response to restoration work around it.

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1 Comment

  1. March 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

    […] of yesterday, the bufflehead pair I reported last week still was hanging out in the stream corridor marsh after 6 days.  I have tried to catch a glimpse […]


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