Thursday, January 31, 2008

Feeding time, and the mountains are beautiful

The San Gabriel Mountains have a beautiful blanket of snow left from the recent storms. The rain here has caused the native plants on the mesa to break dormancy, and many are flowering. Bladderpod, and the coast sunflower are in bloom right now along with the non native mustard.

This male scaup along with several others was diving for mussels near the tide gate this morning. These diving ducks commonly eat fish, but were snacking on one mussel after another. After positioning them just right in their beaks, the birds swallowed the mussels whole.
Surf scoters were also dining on mollusks this morning. The male bird above, and the female below were feeding by the walk bridge on clams. They also just swallowed the clams whole. The must have strong gizzards to be able to grind up this food.

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