"What Spring Brings"

American Wigeon

American Wigeon
        Southern Utah has had cold spell after cold spell, but today I see signs of Spring, like green edges on the Globe Willow trees. Seeing this touch of green, framed against a blue cloudless sky, tells me that in just a few days, Spring will be well-established. Jonquils are in bloom, Daffodil stocks are eight inches out of the ground, Bees are buzzing the Rosemary bushes, and ‘I think I’ve got Spring fever....’.

        Just above Man-O-War bridge on the Virgin River, we watched flocks of American Wigeons flying and then dropping to the river’s edge. Usually Wigeons are found on our many golf courses, their favorite eating place. The person who designed golf courses and designated that grass should be just so long and so high and of a fine texture, laid out a smorgasbord for the American Wigeon. Many golf courses are trimmed to a nubbin by these flocks of feather grazers. This flashy bird with head of white and green is loved by bird watchers and loathed by golfers. Did you know the American Wigeon was formerly known as "Baldpate" because the white stripe resembled a bald man's head? Normally Wigeons won’t come for a human handout. They prefer energy-laden grasses grown exactly to their liking and taste. Grasses fertilized with great care by golf course managers and then re-fertilized by flocks of American Wigeons. Once the weather changes the Wigeons will flee north along with the human snowbirds to climates much cooler for the summer.

        This beautiful American Wigeon was drawn by Brenda Rusnell using color pencils. Thank you Brenda for sharing your talent with us. Brenda has several of her bird pictures on display at the Senior Center. Stop by and see which is your favorite.  


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