|Female Common Merganser|
Males are distinctive with a white body and bright green head. Females have a mottled gray body and rusty brown heads with feather sweeping back in a "hairdo" reminiscent of one we used to call a ducktail. How apropos. One thing that makes females difficult to identify is that immature Mergansers have similar colouring.
Mergansers are fish-eating ducks, so you will often see them diving for a tasty meal along our protective log booms.
|Resting behind the plants on one of our floating stumps.|
|Momma Merganser with nine ducklings in tow.|
Mergansers nest in cavities in trees well above the ground. The flightless chicks bravely leap to the ground within days of hatching and immediately begin foraging for themselves. How cool!!
I'll have to keep an eye on the ones I found on our steel anchor cables to see if they get nibbled down. -- Margy
Reference: The Cornell Lab of Ornithology www.allaboutbirds.org (online)