Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

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markesc
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Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by markesc » December 6th, 2019, 2:27 pm

I know not much of a "hike" but most here appreciate some of the creatures in nature, so thought I'd share!

There's a super rare Mandarin Duck there currently! I happen to have lucked out and it made an appearance!

There was no shortage of photographers there so the word is out, but everyone was super nice to speak with n respectful. The place is a nice gem and the CLEAR water is amazing for being in an urban setting:
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markesc
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by markesc » December 7th, 2019, 11:35 am

A few others...
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Chip Down
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by Chip Down » December 7th, 2019, 3:04 pm

The ducks are neat, but I'm especially intrigued by the bald eagle. Have yet to see one myself.
I went for a walk in CSG once, on a day that was savagely cold (which I happen to like).

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adamschneider
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by adamschneider » December 7th, 2019, 4:04 pm

Chip Down wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 3:04 pm
The ducks are neat, but I'm especially intrigued by the bald eagle. Have yet to see one myself.
I went for a walk in CSG once, on a day that was savagely cold (which I happen to like).
If you don't mind the cold, go out to Lyle in January; supposedly there are tons of bald eagles near the mouth of the Klickitat River at that time of year.

(That said, you can also see them right along the Willamette in Portland.)

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markesc
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by markesc » December 7th, 2019, 7:25 pm

adamschneider wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 4:04 pm
Chip Down wrote:
December 7th, 2019, 3:04 pm
The ducks are neat, but I'm especially intrigued by the bald eagle. Have yet to see one myself.
I went for a walk in CSG once, on a day that was savagely cold (which I happen to like).
If you don't mind the cold, go out to Lyle in January; supposedly there are tons of bald eagles near the mouth of the Klickitat River at that time of year.

(That said, you can also see them right along the Willamette in Portland.)
The Dalles Dam area is a GOLD MINE for eagles in about a month or so...
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Waffle Stomper
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by Waffle Stomper » December 8th, 2019, 8:33 am

Lovely shots of the Mandarin, others
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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BigBear
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by BigBear » December 9th, 2019, 3:06 pm

That duck seems too colorful to be real. Probably the reason the male is so rare is its bright colors that tell predators "here I am, come and eat me because there's no way I can hide." Nice clear pictures. How close were you to the ducks?

I like the eagle pictures too. Somehow these seem more "real." Perhaps its my rather accurate perception that animals tend to have colors that blend into their surroundings if they want to survive (as prey or predator). Even a colorful hawk would quickly become a vegetarian if the rodents could look up and see a neon colored bird and know to hide.

Always nice to see your wildlife photos.

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adamschneider
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by adamschneider » December 9th, 2019, 5:32 pm

BigBear wrote:
December 9th, 2019, 3:06 pm
Perhaps its my rather accurate perception that animals tend to have colors that blend into their surroundings if they want to survive
Some of the really gaudy ones only wear serious bling during the breeding season. Apparently their genes think it's worth it to stand out if it gets them laid, even if makes it more likely that they get ate.

These are both male goldfinches, but at different times of the year:
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BigBear
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by BigBear » December 10th, 2019, 9:51 am

Adam: I agree that the male birds are more colorful than their female counterparts. I think its a design to allow the female to remain inconspicuous while on the nest. Tangers and finches are good examples of colorful birds, as are all of the duck species.

However, Mother nature went bat-sh** crazy when painting the vivid colors on the ducks in this series of pictures, which probably contributes to the rareness of the species. In contrast, the geese which have an absence of color seem to need some thinning (especially when you consider they defecate very 7 minutes). That's a whole lot of cr**. I think the eagles agree with me since they strafe the geese flocks when they get too noisy. Always makes for a good picture when a thousand of them take to the sky. :)

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bobcat
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Re: Crystal Springs Gardens 12-05-2019

Post by bobcat » December 12th, 2019, 10:12 am

Stunning photos once again!

FYI, mandarin ducks are native to China, Korea, Japan, and the Russian Far East. They are indeed quite rare in their wild state. The mandarins you see in cities in Europe and North America are feral. There are a couple of other park areas around Portland where they might be seen.

As for the bright coloration, males of course need to attract females and put on a display. Beyond the act of insemination, they are expendable so in an evolutionary sense, attraction of predators is a secondary concern. However, ground predators, such as cats, mink, raccoons, etc, are almost all color blind. The ducks will hang around other waterfowl that are better at spotting raptors overhead, and also spend most of their time skulking on the verges of ponds under brush and overhanging boughs, where they can't be seen from the sky (Their habits are very similar to our wood ducks, who are their closest relatives).

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