Web-footed Water Birds on the Peconic River

Photo by Emily Correia

Photo by Emily Correia

Mallard Ducks are considered monogamous birds, although females take care of eggs and ducklings alone and males will copulate with other females. Only the females quack. The males make a much quieter rasping sound. Mallards are also very strong fliers and can reach speeds up to 55 miles per hour. Like many ducks after breeding they lose all their flight feathers and therefore are flightless for 3-4 weeks during which time they have an “eclipse” plumage to help conceal them during this vulnerable stage.
Double-Crested Cormorants have a beautiful black coloration but upon closer examination you will notice they have aquamarine eyes, yellow-orange skin on their face and throat and even the inside of their mouth is a bright blue. These diving birds lack much of the natural preening oils that allow waterproofing of the feathers, but this aids them in diving. Since their feathers become waterlogged, they will stand with outstretched wings to dry them out.

Article contributed by BOI Marine Educator, Kerri Dobbs.

July 24, 2013 YSI Readings

Dock Behind Atlantis
Water Temp
Surface 28.9°C
Bottom 28.4°C

Surface 17.7 ppt
Bottom 25.2 ppt

Surface 6.25 mg/L
Bottom .28 mg/L

Flanders Bay
Water Temp
Surface 28.4°C
Bottom 27.8°C

Surface 27.2 ppt
Bottom 27.5 ppt

Surface 7.04 mg/L
Bottom 6.12 mg/L

Mouth of River – Colonel’s Island
Water Temp
Surface 29.6°C
Bottom 28.8°C

Surface 24.3 ppt
Bottom 27.0 ppt

Surface 8.77 mg/L
Bottom 4.66 mg/L

The tide was flooding. The moon is waning. The air temperature was 84°F (28.89°C). The wind strength was 1 on the Beaufort Scale at the dock and 2 in the bay. The wind at the dock came from the northeast; however, the wind in the bay generally came from the southwest.

Data contributed by BOI Intern, Andrew Kumpfbeck.


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