"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Common Mergansers

Each year, around this time, we begin to have large numbers of Common Mergansers appearing in our rivers and streams.  They are fairly large, fish eating ducks.  The male of the species is one of the most difficult birds I have ever tried to photograph...


Their dark heads, which are iridescent green under certain lighting conditions, and their largely white torsos, provide a difficult combination of light and dark areas to obtain a correct exposure...


The females, on the other hand, have a largely neutral grey body with a chestnut colored head...


 
When fishing, they tend to swim with their faces underwater much as snorkelers do...
 



Because they largely feed on fish, molluscs, crustaceans, worms, larvae and amphibians their bills have serrated edges to help them grasp and hold their prey.

I sometimes see them crossing, or resting on, a partially submerged log that extends into the stream...

 
 


Like Wood Ducks, the mergansers nest in hollow tree cavities and will use nest boxes of the appropriate size when provided.




Because of their abundant numbers, they often salvage a photography outing when other wildlife can't be found.

Thanks for visiting, stay well, and come back soon.






1 comment:

  1. I don't know as I've ever seen one, Steve. Now I need to pay more attention!

    ReplyDelete

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