True or False: All ducks quack.
A female Hooded Merganser on Finch-managed lands. Image courtesy of Kate Sartoris Photography.
Answer: False. Most male ducks are silent and very few ducks actually “quack.” Instead, their calls may include squeaks, grunts, groans, chirps, whistles, and growls.
As the leaves begin to change brilliant shades of reds, oranges, golds and browns in the Adirondack Park, it signals fall and the mass migration of waterfowl destined for warmer climates.
Slow-moving or shallow waters found in abundance on Finch-managed lands in the Adirondacks provide optimal habitat for ducks. Most ducks inhabit wooded freshwater swamps, marshes, ponds, rivers, and streams, where woody debris such as logs, stumps, standing trees, and green vegetation provide the best food source. Invertebrates found in the water are an important source of protein for the hens and ducklings. Red maple, standing dead timber and shrub swamps provide important nesting areas. Adult ducks can feed on acorns during fall and winter, making oak forests with swamp areas popular among duck hunters.
When Finch foresters survey the terrain prior to a harvest operation, buffer zones are created around rivers, lakes, ponds, and stream corridors to prevent disturbance to sensitive wildlife habitats. In addition, Finch Forest Management’s selective harvesting techniques ensure that a healthy balance of “snags,” or dead trees, are left standing; especially if they show signs of nesting sites for ducks or blue herons, like the rookery on the Finch-owned Smith Farm in Moreau, NY, which we featured in a post earlier this year.