Sunday, June 23, 2013
Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista
Yesterday, I was at the Living Coast Discovery Center in Chula Vista for a San Diego Audubon function and went to look at their birds. They used to be known as the Chula Vista Nature Center. They are well known for their light-footed clapper rail program. Here are a couple of photos of some of them. I was told that these birds (I think the younger ones) are getting ready to move to the larger pre-release pen:
They had another open pen with many native birds in it that are either injured or otherwise non-releasable. There were several white-faced ibises there. Unfortunately, there was an injured one that was getting the stuffing beat out of him by a very territorial snowy egret in the pen. I guess he was OK even though he was knocked into the water by the egret.
Here is a photo of another ibis:
There were two adorable ruddy ducks there that have been there for a while. We got to feed some of them. There was also a red-breasted merganser and some gadwalls, too. It was kinda strange watching ruddy ducks and a merganser running around on the ground. There was also a great egret in the aviary and a little blue heron on top of the netting, watching everyone get fed.
This black oystercatcher was also a character. I loved the way he walked. They said he needs a beak-trim.
This is Roxy the mallard who is sitting on a nest of infertile eggs. Roxy has been at the center for a long time and frequently hangs out on the walls around the walkways. There's also a hybrid mallard named Hershey that's her best friend. Roxy came out to meet everyone, but didn't want me to feed her.
I also went to Lake Murray to check out how the ducks are doing. Everyone is doing fine. Here's Cow and the rest of the "big flock". Bumblefoot, on the other side of the lake, is in very bad shape, though. I don't think she's going to be around a lot longer.
Here is a photo of one of Fish Food Mama's daughters. They have been fighting with another group of ducks not much older than them (but bigger than them) that keep following them around. There are 9 daughters and when one daughter gets into a fight, another will take over when the first one gets tired. It's kinda funny to watch.
Canal Mama's ducklings also pick fights with adults and win.
The mom that had four ducklings now only has one who has reached a week old:
I looked for the mom that had the two older ducklings and found this mama with six new ones. She took off fast and wouldn't let me get a good photo:
I also found another mother with one or two ducklings, possibly from the other mother who had four of them. And, I think I found the older ducklings. Unfortunately, when I spotted the older ducklings, I think I also found Donald's body on the other side of the fence near where he sleeps in the morning. It looked like he was sleeping, except his head wasn't tucked in, but curled over with his bill in the dirt. So, I think he might have died in his sleep and not by a predator. I am betting that he died surrounded by his friends, Bigboi and Puff as well as other ducks.