Mallard ducks feeding, video

This is a video about mallard ducks feeding at a bank in the Netherlands.

Twelve-year-old Niklas Haverkate made this video.

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Long-tailed duck, video

This is a video about a male long-tailed duck, swimming in Dutch waters.

Jan Terreroo made the video.

Most Eurasian long-tailed ducks don’t winter in the Netherlands, but in the Baltic Sea.

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Diurnal wintering behaviour of the Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) in north-east Algeria

Originally posted on North African Birds:

Aberkane, M., Maazi, M.-C., Chettibi, F., Guergueb, E.-Y., Bouslama, Z., & Houhamdi, M. (2014). Diurnal wintering behaviour of the Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) in north-east Algeria.Zoology and Ecology (in press). doi:10.1080/21658005.2014.889870


The Marbled Teal, Marmaronetta angustirostris, is a globally threatened species, especially in the Western Mediterranean. Its numbers are currently following a downward trend. The population size and status of the Marbled Teal are well estimated in some areas of its geographic range, but in others, such as Algerian wetlands, they are still not known. Population and time-activity budget estimation of the species were carried out in the semi-arid Ramsar wetland Garaet Timerganine located in north-east Algeria in the course of two subsequent wintering seasons. The wintering population showed a significant decrease in numbers from the first to the second year with peaks of 763 and 270 individuals, respectively. This variation was probably due…

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Giant yellow duck explodes in Taiwan

British daily The Guardian says about this video today:

A giant yellow duck designed by Dutch artist Florentjin Hofman has exploded for the second time, eleven days after it went on display in a northern Taiwan port. The 18m-tall duck was supposed to be the star attraction for local New Year’s Eve celebrations but instead burst without explanation to the surprise of onlookers.

Dutch pintail duck news

This video is called Northern Pintail courtship.

Translated from Birdlife in the Netherlands:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Last Sunday, November 10th, near Den Oever a whopping 3664 migrating pintails were seen. This is a record number, never before have so many migrating pintail ducks been observed. There were many pintails elsewhere as well. Probably ​​the combination of clear atmosphere, falling temperatures and northerly winds made the pintails go south massively.

Birder Bob Woets is a happy man. On 10 November he counted at his usual migration site near the beginning of the Afsluitdijk at Den Oever 3664 migratory pintails (source: This is a Dutch record. Earlier, on October 11, 1981 at Maarsseveen (Utrecht province) 2710 pintails on migration had been observed.

November 2013: Northern Ireland’s Lough Neagh, the largest lake in Britain and Ireland, has lost more than three quarters of its overwintering water birds say researchers at Queen’s University Belfast. The study, by Quercus, Northern Ireland’s Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, found the number of diving ducks migrating to the lake for the winter months has dropped from 100,000 to less than 21,000 in the space of a decade: here.

Tufted duck video

This video is about a male tufted duck bathing.

The video is by Heleen de Jong from the Netherlands.

Female tufted duck photo: here.

Shoveler ducks in Svalbard

Northern shoveler couple, Svalbard, 7 June 2013

On 7 June 2013, I saw a male and a female northern shoveler duck.

Northern shoveler male, Svalbard, 7 June 2013

They were in the marshy area near the estuary of the Adventdalselva river, opposite the common eider colony at the dog cages, just east of Longyearbyen town in Spitsbergen.

Northern shoveler male, Svalbard, 8 June 2013

This bird species is rare in Svalbard. The book Birds and Mammals of Svalbard, page 187, says less than twenty individuals have ever been seen on this Arctic archipelago.

Northern shoveler couple, Svalbard, 8 June 2013

So says the site It adds that recently, shovelers have only been seen in Svalbard in 1996, 1997, 2007 and 2013.

Northern shoveler male flying, Svalbard, 8 June 2013

We saw the shoveler couple again, on the next day, 8 June 2013, at about the same spot. Eventually, they flew away.

Northern shoveler male still flying, Svalbard, 8 June 2013

Northern shoveler couple flying, Svalbard, 8 June 2013

But later that day, they were back again.

Northern shoveler couple swimming, Svalbard, 8 June 2013

The day after 8 June, 9 June 2013, Ole Edvard Torland made these photos of a shoveler couple, very probably the same couple, in Adventdalen valley. Ole Edvard Torland writes the ducks were disturbed by a great skua. There are no records after June 9 of these two birds. Did they decide that after all, Svalbard was too Arctic for them?

Talking about common and rare birds in Svalbard: we did not see any greater black-backed gulls in Svalbard, though, according to, they are “common but dispersed breeders”. On the other hand, we were lucky to see a smaller relative of them, a lesser black-backed gull, which is rare in the archipelago.

We were also privileged to see a pectoral sandpiper, also rare in Svalbard.

There is a post on this blog on rare songbirds of Svalbard. On 30 June 2013, this photo was taken of a male Lapland bunting in Adventdalen valley.

Svalbard long-tailed ducks

Long-tailed duck male, Adventdalen, Svalbard, 5 June 2013

5 June 2013. As I wrote, we went back to Adventdalen in Spitsbergen, to see whether the long-tailed duck couple was still swimming in the narrow ice-free channel along the road. They were.

Long-tailed duck male and female, Adventdalen, Svalbard, 5 June 2013

Sometimes, the male and female duck swam to the east.

Long-tailed duck female and male swimming, Adventdalen, Svalbard, 5 June 2013

Sometimes, they swam to the west. As long as the ice would not break up more, these were the only directions where they could swim.

Scoter ducks still near Texel, cold spring

This video from the Netherlands is about a group of common scoters, diving together for food.

The Waddenvereniging in the Netherlands reports that recently, about 50,000 scoter ducks were counted in the North Sea, west of the Hoornderslag on Texel island. Two weeks before, there had been only 12,000 ducks.

It is very unusual that these ducks have not migrated yet to their nesting sites in northern Europe and Siberia. This is because of the cold spring.

The ducks are both common scoters and velvet scoters.

Waterbird migration and climate change

This video from Canada says about itself:

Common Goldeneye – Bucephala clangula

These Common Goldeneye ducks are wintering in Lake Ontario. Around late March to early April they will begin returning to their northern breeding grounds across Canada and Alaska. Common Goldeneyes can also be found in northern Europe and Asia.

From Wildlife Extra:

Climate changes shift wintering ranges of waterbirds

Waterbirds moving north – More in Finland and Sweden

May 2013. Migratory waterbirds have shifted their wintering areas north-eastwards due to climate change in Europe, according to a group of scientists including Richard Hearn of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). Their new study found a strong link between changes in the numbers of goldeneyes, tufted ducks and goosanders wintering across northern Europe and changes in temperature in early winter.

Large rise in Finland and Sweden

In Finland and Sweden, the mid-winter numbers of these three species are more than 130,000 individuals higher than three decades ago. Correspondingly, on the southern edge of the distribution in France, Ireland and Switzerland, numbers have dropped by nearly 120,000 individuals. In several southern countries wintering numbers have halved.

Richard Hearn, WWT’s Head of Species Monitoring and a contributor to the study, said: “Our world is changing rapidly and conservation tools need to be flexible so they can respond to that challenge. This means more monitoring, to keep track of bird populations that are, in some cases, changing exponentially. It also means maintaining a coherent network of protected areas throughout Europe, and altering their management in response to the changing mix of wildlife that uses them.”

“Studies like this are critical to making governments aware of their shifting responsibilities and helping them plan for the future.”

Tufted ducks and goldeneyes in Finland

Aleksi Lehikoinen, Curator at the Finnish Museum of Natural History and lead author of the study, said: “In Finland, the change has been strongest in tufted ducks and goldeneyes, whose numbers have increased ten-fold. Waterbird numbers are connected with the early winter temperature, which in south Finland increased by about 3.8 degrees between 1980 and 2010.”


This may have implications for their conservation, because birds are making less use of the protected areas that were designated to protect them. The shifts in the birds’ ranges may also affect the impact of hunting, as possibilities increase in the north and decrease them in the south, altering potential bag sizes.

The research is based on counts from the International Waterbird Census and the results have been published in Global Change Biology.

June 2013. Most species at greatest risk from climate change are not currently conservation priorities, finds an IUCN study that introduces a pioneering method to assess the vulnerability of species to climate change: here.

16 of your favorite things that climate change is totally screwing up: here.