December 11, 2012 while on a mushing tour with the WooFPAK on the C&O Canal Tow Path, the WooFDriver saw these Mallard Ducks swimming in some sort of algae. They don’t seem to mind it though. Mallard Ducks young leave the nest within one day after hatching! They are then led to water by their mother where they feed themselves. The Mallard Duck is still one of the most abundant ducks in the world. They eat a wide variety of grasses and small critters, from worms to small fish
Audubon’s Website to learn more about Mallard Ducks
On November 29, 2013 while taking the WooFPAK on a mushing tour of the C&O Canal Tow Path the WooFDriver got to see a lot of beautiful wildlife. This included this colorful Ring Necked Pheasant! Do you know that their rooster like crows can be heard up to a mile away! You can see them along rural roadsides, in overgrown or recently harvested fields and in brushy areas.
All About Bird’s Webpage to learn more about pheasants
On several occasion while out mushing the PAK, WooFDriver was able to view and capture these amazing Barred Owl(Strix nebulosa)! They are common to Eastern and Central USA and also in South Central Canada. They live in forests, wooded river bottoms and swamps.
Also enjoy these videos of Owls captured!!
March 24, 2014 while Free Ranging the PAK, WooFDriver noticed this Turkey Vulture(Cathartes aura) soaring in the sky. The turkey vulture is a scavenger and uses its keen eyes and sense of smell to find its food. They have a large range and are the most abundant vulture in the Americas.
Wikipedia’s Webpage to learn more about Turkey Vultures
The WooFPAK was running out their energy at the Mazing Chase course when the WooFDriver happened to see a spectator watching, a robin! Robins(Turdus migratorius) are active mostly during the day and I was interested to learn that they assemble in large flocks at night. They are preyed upon by hawks, cats and snakes to name a few, but find security when being in flocks.
Wikipedia’s Webpage to learn more about Robins
June 9, 2014 while taking a break from Free Ranging the WooFPAK, WooFDriver was able to capture these Helmeted Guinea Fowl. It is actually not a native of the United States, it comes from the south of the Sahara in Africa! It does not fly well, but can run very fast. Their flight is a short glide and run on touchdown.
http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2014/06/guinea-fowl.html to learn more about the Helmeted Guinea Fowl
We found this cool feather August 20, 2014 at the same time the Blue Jay feather was found. The Blue Jay imitates the Red Shouldered Hawk, I wonder if they had a conflict the day before?! The Red Shouldered Hawk(Buteo lineatus) are common to deciduous wetlands and the noisiest of the hawk family. They eat smaller birds like doves and bugs like grasshoppers and crickets.
A cool resource to look up different feathers is on U.S. Fish And Wildlife’s Website
Another resource Learn more about the Red Shouldered Hawk
August 20, 2014 we found a feather of a beautiful Blue Jay(Cyanocitta cristata). They are one of the most colorful and loudest backyard birds. Imitating the screams of the Red Shouldered Hawk! They make their habitat in wooded areas that are mixed with oak and pine wood trees and are common in well wooded parks.
August 27, 2014 in the Shenandoah Valley with the WooFPAK. What a beautiful sight as the sunsets for the day, a Blue Heron perched upon a tree. Maybe he is on the hunt? The are highly adaptable and vary in their diet. They mostly eat fish, but also hunts for frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, insects, rodents, and even smaller birds. We are lucky enough to see a lot of wildlife including the beautiful Blue Heron in many adventures from the Shenandoah Valley to the C&O Canal Towpath and beyond. They hunt both day and night, foraging on grassy shores or more often by standing or slowly walking in shallow water waiting for fish to swim close by.
Read more about the Great Blue Heron and other avian wildlife here.
Enjoy video footage of a Heron flying on the C&O Towpath from September 29, 2015!
(Sorry the video is a little shaky!)
While Free Ranging running on the farm with the WooFPAK, the WooFDriver saw some Free Ranging Ducks at the pond! A great reason for proper recall training!! The Pekin Duck is also known as the Domesticated Duck. Bred from the Mallard subspecies and mostly used in the farming industry. The ones you see in the wild have escaped for freedom and joined native flocks. This interbreeding with local wild duck populations results in hybrid ducks that have indistinct plumage that may have irregular tufts of feathers or unexpected colors. Both Disney’s Donald Duck and the Aflac duck are modeled after the Pekin Duck.
Beauty of Birds Webpage to learn more about the Pekin Duck
Early spring 2015, a flock of Canadian Geese flies to the pond as the WooFPAK Free Ranges. When you hear the sounds of geese you know the season is changing. Due to over-hunting and loss of habitat in the late 19th century and early 20th century had resulted in a serious decline in the numbers of this bird in its native range. The giant Canada goose subspecies was believed to be extinct in the 1950s until, in 1962, a small flock was discovered wintering in Rochester, Minnesota. I was surprise to learn that there are at least 11 subspecies! Geese in the north are smaller in size and geese in the west are darker in color.
Read more about the Canadian Goose Here: Wikipedia’s Canadian Goose Page
All About Birds Website another great website to learn more about the Canadian Goose
As spring of 2015 started coming to life the WooFPAK got a glimpse of these wild beauties on the pond where they Free Range. Swans are the largest members of the waterfowl family and among the largest birds of flight. Swans feed in the water and on land. They are almost entirely herbivorous, although they may eat small amounts of aquatic animals. To learn more about swans: Wikipedia’s Swan Page
These are some Wild Turkeys!! We occasionally get to see them at The Mazing Chase Farm!! They are not part of the Farm they are just roaming wild in the woods. Very Cool and they are large! This photo we took March 2, 2012. Read more about Wild Turkeys Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Turkey