By Rachael Risby Raz | International Relations Manager
Duck tracking in Deer Valley
The Diving Duck program is continuing to thrive.
In the coming weeks and months we are planning on releasing more ducklings born at the Furgatch Marshland Aviary at the Zoo to the En Afek Nature Reserve.
The Reserve is located in the Akko valley, close to Kiryat Biyalik in Israel's north and preserves swampland and waterway sources the majority of which have been lost in Israel.
We are also eagerly anticipating the Nature Parks Authority report on the status of the population in Israel, due to be published in the coming weeks, summing up seven years of conservation activity.
Over the summer in the Deer Valley Reserve, close to the Zoo in Jerusalem, over thirty ducklings have been sighted during routine tracking sessions and hopefully this a good omen for the overall situation in Israel of this endangered species.
As we await the new breeding season for our diving ducks (due to begin sometime in April or May of 2019), we would like to share with you the differences between our male and female diving ducks – you may have noticed some of these from photographs we have shared.
The breeding male is a rich, dark chestnut on the head, breast and flanks with contrasting pure white undertail coverts. In flight the white belly and underwing patch are visible. The females are duller and browner than the males. The male has a yellow eye and the females have a dark eye.
As habitats, these ducks prefer quite shallow fresh waterbodies with rich submerged and floating vegetation with dense stands of emergent vegetation on the margins. Sometimes they will also use saline or brackish pools or wetlands. On passage and wintering they will also frequent coastal waters, inland seas and large, open lagoons.
We hope to be able to update you with more exciting news in our next report.
With best wishes and thanks for your continued support,
Nicole and the Avian Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo
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