May 22, 2011
Sometimes when I'm at the celery fields, I feel as though I've entered a different world where the birds are grappling with their own issues on how to get along with each other. For example, I'm convinced I captured this duck (after perusing my Birds of Florid field guide, I believe it's a mottled duck) as it was admonishing several sandhill cranes and a black-necked stilt to hush up. The stilt, a bird of rather small stature, was harassing the much larger cranes, which in turn were yelping, seemingly, for the stilt to stop pestering them. If you've never heard a sandhill crane, let me assure you, their call is extremely loud. At one point, with the three cranes and one stilt sounding off, it was nothing less than a cacophonous ornithological din. This duck was about 30 yards away, and the split second there was a pause in the commotion, it looked in that general direction and let out a few vociferous quacks, which I could only interpret as, "Hush! Puh-leeze! Is it too much to ask for peace and quiet at sunset? Sheeeesh."