Saturday, June 14, 2014

Merganser Duckling Train

Last week I saw something for the very first time, a mother Common Merganser with her ducklings in tow. Rather than swimming behind mom, they were either on her back or linked up trailing behind.

This Merganser swam by our cabin with about eight ducklings lined up behind. I was intrigued, so did some online research. Mergansers lay from 6-17 eggs.

The next day I saw another family at the Narrows barge ramp while we were out quadding. This mom only had four. Mergansers nest in holes in trees up to 100 feet off the ground. Amazingly, the ducklings leap down within days after hatching. Here's an amazing video by ksninew:

That must really hurt when they hit the ground, and this nesting box was only about six feet up. -- Margy


  1. I love the pictures of the merganses - great shots. I had no idea they had to jump like that to get out of the nesting box. I've seen wood ducks do that - but not Mergansers.

  2. Oh so cute. I watched the video. I felt sad. What about the ones that can't jump up to get out and the ones that break a leg when they land and the ones Mommy leaves and she doesn't come back. She had about 15-20 in the nest. Oh Nature! MB

  3. Great on all counts, the video and images.

  4. Great photos from the merganser family! And thanks for sharing the video, brave baby ducks!

  5. I didn't know THEY did that, too! Our Wood duck should hatch her eggs any day now. They launch onto the ground , too!

  6. Thanks all for visiting. We saw the Mergansers go by again this week and the babies are so big they can't get up on Mom's back any more. They are quick learners. We watched one dive and catch his own fish for lunch. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy