Good Monday morning, everyone!


Stephen here, with a little update with what’s been going on with DC’s favorite EFTA intern.


Last week flew by in a flurry of meetings and email replies, but in between all that I have been working on World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) with the Earth Conservation Corps (ECC). I can tell you that things will be busy this spring with lots of different organizations hosting conservation outreach events across the District… and there I am in the middle of all that with wide eyes and hopes that I can take note of everything.


If you didn’t know, things move fast in DC and if I blink for too long WMBD will be here. I have plans for this to be a fun interactive event that will inspire more minority youth to engage with the environment around them besides just thinking “Bahh, it’s cold outside again today.”


On a lighter note, allow me to explain the featured picture above.  This is a picture from my first day at ECC, where just outside the building I noticed these two pretty birds hanging out under the walkway. Male Mallard ducks are affectionately given the nickname “Greenhead” (or Drake during breeding season), and their female counterparts are nicknamed “Suzy.” Mallard ducks will form a mating pair that lasts through the fall and winter seasons, but the male will leave while he molts leaving the female to look after any offspring.


With their webbed feet, Mallard ducks can even swim in icy water because their feet, nerves, blood vessels are cold tolerant. Wouldn’t that be nice if you wanted to go swimming on a winter day, but wouldn’t you think the rest of their body got cold? Actually, a special gland near their tails produces oil that makes their feathers waterproof. Under that layer of waterproof feathers, fluffy, soft feathers keep them warm and insulated.


Here are two more really cool facts. Mallards can reach heights of 2000 feet while in flight, and can fly as far as 800 miles in just eight hours! O_O


Tomorrow is the Jr. Duck Stamp competition, where youth from all over the District have entered to compete and move forward to the national level of competition. So, hopefully next week, I’ll have some really cool photos of entries from that event.


Thanks for reading, and see you again next week!


-Stephen Poblete


Mallard Facts were obtained from 

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