Canoeing near Pyramid Island on the Chilkat River in Haines, AK.
This was my first time photographing Surf Scoters. What interesting birds! They refer to the group of them as a raft of scoters. They love mollusks and work together to loosen them. A friend described watching the front row of Scoters dive together and pop up toward the back then the second row would dive, followed by third and each row after that like a conveyor belt. The mussels they were after "tether themselves to rocks or each other with stringy fibers called byssal threads. Each thread has a foamy adhesive “plaque” at the end containing a mixture of proteins that give mussels their amazing adhesive qualities."
If you look closely in the photo below, you might notice the eyes look cloudy. On eagles, the bottom eyelid is bigger than the top eyelid, so they blink up instead of down. The third eyelid, an inner eyelid, is called the nictitating membrane. "These eyelids can be closed for protection without affecting the eagle's vision."
Nothing quite compares to the feeling of holding a hummingbird on your finger. They are feather light; close to the weight of U.S. penny. I read it would take 150 ruby throated hummingbirds to make a pound. The average weight is .1 to .2 ounces or 3 grams. By comparison a nickel weighs 4.5 grams. Birds in general weigh less than one might think because of their hollow bones.
BEST VIEWED ON A COMPUTER AND NOT A PHONE.
“In a forest of a
trees, no two leaves
are alike. And no two journeys along the
same path are alike.”
~ Paulo Coelho