Breakfasts of Champions!

The forecast last evening was for the rain to start at 7am, so I got up early in the hopes of staying dry for a lap, and boy, did it pay off. I might have to try that more often, but not every day. It’s pretty dark before sunrise on a cloudy day, and my camera struggled, even with the new monopod. In fact, I didn’t even try at the pond. The wood duck hen and her six ducklings plus the American black duck hen were all foraging already, and I just let them be.

As I approached the river, I could hear the little incessant chirping that I’ve come to associate with baby chicks in a nesting hole, and as I scanned the dead trunk were we saw the wren a few weeks ago, I almost missed this little guy or gal on the branch about a foot below the hole with a delicious looking morsel.

I’m not sure what the wait was for, maybe to let breakfast stop wriggling, but soon enough, into somebody’s crop it went. Yum!

With that out of the way, I continued to the river, and completely failed to sneak up on the great blue heron fishing just off shore. As I watched it go, I managed also to spook the green heron nearby. Doh! Come on, man. Focus!

Well, I brushed off those setbacks, but my game face back on, and checked in the the beaver.

Sure enough, it was breakfast time for them, too, and I’m pretty sure there were three of them about again. Here’s two.

Just north of there, I spotted this mourning dove, who didn’t appear to be having breakfast at the time, but who could refuse this sweet pose? I did not realize that they have such pretty blue eyeliner, and I read that they “eat roughly 12 to 20 percent of their body weight per day.” Further, they swallow seeds and store them in their crop, and “once they’ve filled it (the record is 17,200 bluegrass seeds in a single crop!), they can fly to a safe perch to digest the meal.” So, either you’ve got a full crop, or you’d better get busy, sweetie.

North of the falls, I came across this character just daring me to take its picture.

At the north end at last, our regular trio of mallard ducklings were busy working the rocks, under Mom’s watchful care, and one little enterprising duckling managed to catch itself a crayfish. They seem to be popular these days, and this one put up a struggle, but the duckling prevailed in the end. Yay!

On my way back south, I spotted one critter helping to pick up the mulberries from the boardwalk below the beer garden. Thanks, Buddy!

This oriole looked to be trying to cut out the middleman and go right to the source. From the looks of the feathers on its face, it’s been going right to the source a lot lately.

South of there, near where I flushed the herons, a wood duck hen with a single duckling had just caught something, maybe a tadpole, and the duckling hadn’t quite managed to choke it down yet. Good luck, Kiddo!

Finally, I interrupted the grazing of this sweetheart, and it moseyed into the woods behind it to breakfast without interruption. Sorry!

That’s the breakfast roundup for today, and it still hadn’t rained. Ha!

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

One thought on “Breakfasts of Champions!

  1. Breakfast bouquet!!! Wow-wee!!! Also, that sweet mourning dove with her eyeliner and hopefully full belly. Precious Andrew!


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