Click to listen to episode (4:36).
Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.)
Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 11-9-23.
TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO
From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia
Water Radio for the weeks of December 11 and December 18, 2023. [Please note: the audio mistakenly says December 20 instead of December 18.]
SOUND – ~6 sec.
Those sounds of Mallard ducks, recorded in December 2015 at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg, set the stage for a duck designation derby—that is, a duck names quiz game!
I’ll give you clues to the common names of six duck species inhabiting areas of Virginia, either year-round or seasonally. After each set of clues, you’ll have a few seconds to hear sounds from the duck and try to guess its name. In the clues, “diving duck” refers to those birds that dive deep under the surface and feed underwater; and “dabbling duck” refers to those birds that feed on or just below the water surface.
Number 1: This large diving duck, noted for its reddish head and bright whitish body, has a name that a painter would recognize. SOUND - ~6 sec. That’s the Canvasback.
Number 2: This diving duck is known and named for its golden-yellow eyes. SOUND - ~5 sec. That’s the Common Goldeneye.
Number 3: For people who appreciate colorful birds, this small dabbling duck’s iridescent green feathers on its head and wings are a big deal. SOUND - ~5 sec. That’s the Green-winged Teal.
Number 4: If people who wear “hoodies” wanted to know how to look like a bird, the male of this diving duck would be the answer. SOUND - ~5 sec. That’s the Hooded Merganser.
Number 5: This dabbling duck has a name—based on its spoon-like bill—that could be applied to what people in, say Minnesota, have to become after a big snowfall, if they want to clear a path. SOUND - ~5 sec. That’s the Northern Shoveler.
And number 6: This elaborately colored dabbling duck, notable for its nests in tree holes and for its ability to perch on tree branches, has a name that comes from trees. SOUND - ~5 sec. That’s the Wood Duck.
The birds in this game are among 25 duck species known to occur in Virginia, at least occasionally. Many are around in wintertime, so if you’re venturing out near water during the cold-weather months, perhaps—with luck and pluck—you’ll glimpse or hear some ducks.
Thanks to Lang Elliott for permission to use the sounds in the duck names quiz, which were all from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs.
We close with some music for ducks, with a tune attributed to the late Henry Reed, a traditional musician who lived in Giles County, Virginia. Here’s about 25 seconds of “Ducks on the Pond,” performed by Timothy Seaman of Williamsburg, Virginia.
MUSIC - ~27 sec – Instrumental.
Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at virginiawaterradio.org, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of “Cripple Creek” to open and close this episode. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.
AUDIO NOTES AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The Canvasback, Common Goldeneye, Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Northern Shoveler, and Wood Duck sounds heard in this episode were from the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs-Eastern Region CD set, by Lang Elliott with Donald and Lillian Stokes (Time Warner Audio Books, copyright 1997), used with permission of Lang Elliott. Lang Elliot’s work is available online at the “Music of Nature” Web site, http://www.musicofnature.org/.
The Mallard sounds were recorded by Virginia Water Radio at the Virginia Tech Duck Pond in Blacksburg on December 10, 2015.
The version of “Ducks on the Pond” heard in this episode is
by Timothy Seaman, part of the medley “Virginia Rail Reel/Ducks on the Pond/Old
Blue,” from the 2004 album “Virginia Wildlife,” on Pine Wind Records, used with
permission; that album was done in collaboration with the Virginia Department
of Game and Inland Fisheries (now the Virginia Department of Wildlife
Resources). More information about Timothy Seaman is available online at http://timothyseaman.com/en/. This music was used previously by Virginia
Water Radio in Episode 398, 12-11-17.
The tune “Ducks on the Pond” is attributed to Henry Reed (1884-1968), a native of West Virginia but a long-time resident of Glen Lyn in Giles County, Virginia; more information about Henry Reed is available online at http://www.henryreed.org/. Information on the tune is available from The Traditional Tune Archive, online at “Ducks on the Pond” entry is online at http://www.tunearch.org/wiki/Ducks_on_the_Pond. A June 1966 recording by Alan Jabbour of the tune being played by Mr. Reed is available from the Library of Congress, online at https://www.loc.gov/item/afcreed000072/; at this site, the tune is referred to as “Ducks in the Pond.”
Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (1 min./11 sec.) of the “Cripple Creek” arrangement/performance by Stewart Scales that opens and closes this episode. More information about Mr. Scales and the group New Standard, with which Mr. Scales plays, is available online at http://newstandardbluegrass.com.
The following photos of the ducks featured in this Virginia Water Radio episode were taken from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at http://digitalmedia.fws.gov. More details and specific URLs for each photo are given below the photos; all specific URLs were as of 11-8-23.
location and date not identified. Photo
by Lee Karney. Specific URL for the
photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/6798/rec/3.
Canvasback male; location and date not identified. Photo by Lee Karney. Specific URL for the photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/6798/rec/3.
Common Goldeneye in 2003, location not identified. Photo by Gary Kramer. Specific URL for the photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/34171/rec/3.
Green-winged Teal male (left) and female; location and date not identified. Photo by Dave Menke. Specific URL for the photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/3728/rec/2.
Hooded Merganser male; location and date not identified. Photo by Tim McCabe. Specific URL for the photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/1085/rec/4.
Mallard female and brood at Cheney Lake, Anchorage, Alaska, June 2005. Photo by Donna Dewhurst. Specific URL for the photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/50/rec/32.
Northern Shoveler male (right) and female at Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage Alaska; date not identified. Photo by Donna Dewhurst. Specific URL for the photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/699/rec/2.
Wood Duck male in California, date not identified. Photo by Lee Kearney. Specific URL for the photo was https://digitalmedia.fws.gov/digital/collection/natdiglib/id/17774/rec/4.
EXTRA INFORMATION ABOUT THE DUCK SPECIES HEARD IN THIS EPISODE
Following are the scientific names, and information on occurrence in Virginia, for the seven duck species heard in this episode. Occurrence information (including quotes) is from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (formerly Department of Game and Inland Fisheries), “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/, using the “Occurrence” tab at the individual entry for each species; each bird’s common name is linked to its individual entry.
Canvasback – Scientific name is Aythya valisineria. Occurrence in Virginia: “[N]onbreeder and a locally common to abundant transient and winter resident (10 November to 10 April) on the coast, ...chiefly near the Chesapeake Bay and in Back Bay. They are uncommon inland and a rare winter visitor in the mountains and valleys.”
Common Goldeneye – Scientific name is Bucephala clangula. Occurrence in Virginia: winter resident in much of Tidewater Virginia and a few counties farther west.
Green-winged Teal – Scientific name is Anas crecca. Occurrence in Virginia: “This is a common transient and winter resident on the Coastal Plain, and uncommon inland. Peak counts occur along the coast during the winter.”
Hooded Merganser – Scientific name is Lophodytes cucullatus. Occurrence in Virginia: “This is a casual breeder. It is a transient, winter resident, and summer visitor throughout the state. It is common on the Coastal Plain, and uncommon to common in the rest of the state. Peak counts occur along the coast during December.”
Mallard – Scientific name is Anas platyrhynchos. Occurrence in Virginia: “This is an abundant transient and winter resident, and a common summer resident in the Coastal Plain. It is a common transient and winter resident, uncommon summer resident elsewhere. Peak counts occur along the coast in the fall.”
Northern Shoveler – Scientific name is Anas clypeata. Occurrence in Virginia: winter resident in many coastal Tidewater counties and few counties further west.
Wood Duck – Scientific name is Aix sponsa. Occurrence in Virginia: “Common transient and summer resident statewide. Uncommon to rare winter resident in the piedmont and mountains and valleys. Peak counts occur during winter in the coastal plain, during fall in the piedmont, and during summer in the mountains and valleys.”
Used for Audio
Audubon Society of Northern Virginia, “Winter Waterfowl Count,” online at https://www.audubonva.org/winter-waterfowl-count.
Chesapeake Bay Program, “Field Guide,” online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide.
The Canvasback entry is online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/canvasback.
The Common Goldeneye entry is online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/common-goldeneye.
The Green-winged Teal entry is online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/green-winged-teal.
The Hooded Merganser entry is online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/hooded-merganser.
The Mallard entry is online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/mallard.
The Northern Shoveler entry is online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/northern-shoveler.
The Wood Duck entry is online at https://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/field-guide/entry/wood-duck.
Chandler S. Robbins et al. A Guide to Field Identification of Birds of North America, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2001.
Lab of Ornithology, “All About Birds,” online at http://www.allaboutbirds.org.
The Canvasback entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Canvasback/.
The Common Goldeneye entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Common_Goldeneye.
The Green-winged Teal entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Green-winged_Teal.
The Hooded Merganser entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Merganser.
The Mallard entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Mallard/.
The Northern Shoveler entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Northern_Shoveler/.
The Wood Duck entry is online at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Wood_Duck/.
Missouri Department of Conservation, “Divers vs. Dabblers,” by Peg Craft, November 8, 2020, online at https://mdc.mo.gov/blogs/discover-nature-notes/dabblers-vs-divers-1.
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (formerly
Department of Game and Inland Fisheries):
Fish and Wildlife Information Service, online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/.
The Canvasback entry is online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040064&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=19669.
The Common Goldeneye entry is online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040067&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=19669.
The Green-winged Teal entry is online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040056&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=19669.
The Hooded Merganser entry is online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040077&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=19669.
The Mallard entry is online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040051&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=19669.
The Northern Shoveler entry is online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040060&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=19669.
The Wood Duck entry is online at https://services.dwr.virginia.gov/fwis/booklet.html?&bova=040061&Menu=_.Taxonomy&version=19668.
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, “List of Native and Naturalized Fauna in Virginia, August 2022,” online (as a PDF) at https://dwr.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/virginia-native-naturalized-species.pdf.
For More Information
about Birds in Virginia or Elsewhere
Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Birds of the World,” online at https://birdsoftheworld.org/bow/home (subscription required).
Cornell University Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon
Society, “eBird,” online at https://ebird.org/home. Here
you can find locations of species observations made by contributors, and you
can sign up to contribute your own observations.
Cornell University Lab of Ornithology, “Merlin Photo
ID.” The application for mobile devices allows users to submit a bird
photograph to get identification of the bird. Information is available online
Ducks Unlimited, “Wood Duck Boxes,” by Scott Stephens, July 13, 2016, online at https://www.ducks.org/conservation/waterfowl-research-science/wood-duck-boxes.
Stan Tekiela, Birds of Virginia Field Guide, Adventure
Publications, Inc., Cambridge, Minn., 2002.
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, “Animal Diversity Web,” online at https://animaldiversity.org/.
Virginia Cooperative Extension, “Fifteen Minutes in the Forest/Wood Ducks,” 2022 (a 15 min./24 sec. video).
Virginia Society of Ornithology, online at http://www.virginiabirds.org/.
The Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, conservation,
and enjoyment of birds in the Commonwealth.
Xeno-canto Foundation, online at http://www.xeno-canto.org/. This site provides bird songs (and other wildlife sounds) from around the world.
RELATED VIRGINIA WATER RADIO EPISODES
All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (http://www.virginiawaterradio.org/p/index.html). See particularly the “Birds” subject category.
Following are links to other episodes on ducks.Episode 118, 7-9-12 – A Summertime Virginia Sampler of Birds Around Water (including the Mallard).
Episode 136, 11-12-12 – Ducks at the Dance (an introduction to ducks).
Episode 303, 2-15-16 – Common Goldeneye's Wings Whistle Over Virginia's Winter Waters.
Episode 398, 12-11-17 – The Green and Blue of Teal.
Episode 430, 7-23-18 – What Calls from a Marsh? (on marsh birds generally, including the Wood Duck).
Episode 433, 10-22-18 – Wood Duck.
Episode 472, 5-13-19 – Mallards are Widespread, Well-known Waterfowl.
Episode 490, 9-16-19 – A Duck Trio’s Unusual Visit to Virginia Tech (on the Black-bellied Whistling Duck).
Episode 565, 2-22-21 – Winter Birds of the Chesapeake Bay (including the Hooded Merganser).
Episode 604, 11-22-21 – Canvasbacks Come Back to the Chesapeake as Winter Approaches.
FOR VIRGINIA TEACHERS – RELATED STANDARDS OF LEARNING (SOLs) AND OTHER INFORMATION
Following are some Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) that may be supported by this episode’s audio/transcript, sources, or other information included in this post.
2020 Music SOLs
SOLs at various grade levels that call for “examining the relationship of music to the other fine arts and other fields of knowledge.”
2018 Science SOLs
Grades K-4: Living
Systems and Processes
1.5 – Animals, including humans, have basic life needs that allow them to survive; including that animals have different physical characteristics that perform specific functions; and animals can be classified based on a variety of characteristics.
3.4 – Adaptations allow organisms to satisfy life needs and respond to the environment.
3.5 – Aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems support a diversity of organisms.
4.2 – Plants and animals have structures that distinguish them from one another and play vital roles in their ability to survive.
4.3 – Organisms, including humans, interact with one another and with the nonliving components in the ecosystem.
Grades K-5: Earth and
3.7 – There is a water cycle and water is important to life on Earth.
Grades K-5: Earth
4.8 – Virginia has important natural resources.
6.6 – Water has unique physical properties and has a role in the natural and human-made environment.
LS.3 – There are levels of structural organization in living things.
LS.7 – Adaptations support an organism’s survival in an ecosystem.
BIO.6 – Modern classification systems can be used as organizational tools for scientists in the study of organisms.
BIO.8 – Dynamic equilibria exist within populations, communities, and ecosystems.
Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at https://www.doe.virginia.gov/teaching-learning-assessment/instruction
Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.
Episode 524, 5-11-20 – on sounds by water-related animals, for elementary school through high school.
Episode 531, 6-29-20 – on various ways that animals get water, for 3rd and 4th grade.
Episode 539, 8-24-20 – on basic numbers and facts about Virginia’s water resources, for 4th and 6th grade.
Episode 606, 12-6-21 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.