That’s a ring-necked duck? Did someone not see the white ring on the beak? It’s actually named for its chestnut collar, but it’s seldom seen. The distinctive white ring on the beak, yellow eye, and iridescent purple head make for easy identification. These medium-sized ducks have now arrived on lakes in Sun Lakes from the boreal forests in Canada and are now wintering here. This diving and dabbler duck is adapted to shallow, fresh-water ponds. See this duck at the next Family Bird Walk.
Desert Rivers Audubon offers free Family Bird Walks and provides binoculars and an experienced bird leader to point out the species in the park during a one-hour walk. Bring the children, as there are binoculars for them also. There will be a white tent where one can sign up for a walk and peruse the bookstore for additional bird guides and learning.
Chandler Oasis Park: Chandler Heights Road and Lindsay. Walks are on the first Saturday of the month. The next walk is March 4 from 8 to 11:30 a.m. There will be a white tent where one can sign up for a walk and peruse the bookstore for additional bird guides and learning.
Gilbert Water Ranch: Just east of the library at Guadalupe and Greenfield is the Gilbert Water Ranch. Walks are offered the third Saturday of the month. The time is also from 8 to 11:30 a.m. The next walk is March 18. The Water Ranch always has surprise birds visiting. Often there are 30 to 40 bird species identified.
The Audubon Monthly Speaker Program is available at the Gilbert Library at Greenfield and Guadalupe. It is in person and on Zoom. To register for the Zoom meeting, just visit the website Desertriversaudubon.org and request it.
Monthly Speaker Programs: On March 14 the speaker will be Dave Pearson, and his topic will be “So Many Species, So Little Time. Can We Save More by Focusing on Only a Few?”
Arizona State University Research Professor David Parson will talk about using a few well-studied species as stand-ins or surrogates for the species in trouble. What are the qualifications for these surrogates, and what are the advantages and limitations of this policy? Is it reliable, and is it accurate?
The Desert Rivers Audubon Society mission is to “Educate and inspire our community to protect and preserve birds, wildlife, and their habitats.” There are programs for children and classroom support. Visit the website, Desertriversaudubon.org.