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On Friday, February 10, 2012, I was out looking at the pond and saw a pair of Hooded Mergansers out on the water.  The diving mergansers love to swim under the surface and catch small fish, aquatic insects, turtles and snails.  They are very beautiful migratory waterfowl.  The male is mostly black, a golden-light brown, and white with a white hooded crest that it can raise or lower over his black head.  The hen is a cinnamon sable brown with black and white areas.  Both genders have long pointed dark brown bills.

I also saw a hen Bufflehead duck paddling with the mergansers.  There were several Mallard ducks, a pair of Ring-necked ducks, and a pair of Canada Geese here at the same time, too.  We had Hooded Mergansers here a couple of months back.  I wonder if these are those same ducks on the reverse trip of their migration?  Perhaps so.  They are wonderful to watch.  It has been quite cold here with a touch of snow on Friday night.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

AFTERNOON UP-DATE:  It’s snowing and 19 degrees out today so I am arm-chair wildlife watching through the windows.  I spotted about ten Hooded Mergansers on the pond this afternoon.  It seems like the pair in today’s post (I took the pictures yesterday) were the “advance scouts”.  –  Wildlifewatcher


Comments on: "The Hooded Mergansers are Back!" (9)

  1. Hi Linda, Bet your mergansers (and other water birds) are COLD this morning… It is 19 degrees here at 9 a.m. –and the temp will go downdowndown all day long…. It’s still snowing some and the wind is howling… We only got about an inch of snow –probably not enough to save our tender spring vegetation… Only time will tell…

    Have a great day –and stay WARM.

    • Hi Betsy, Yes, snowing hard here but only about an inch to one-and-a-half inches on the ground and yes, 20 degrees with 7 degree F. wind-chill factor. I’m looking out the window and see one duck out and about four Canada Geese. Good thing waterfowl have down! Stay warm, stay safe. Have a good day! I hope your yard plants do OK.

  2. TexWisGirl said:

    lucky you! you have an awesome spot to watch wildlife! love these beauties!

    • Hi TexWisGirl, It is an awesome place to live! Today it is a cold place to live. We have just under 2″ of snow on the ground but it is windy and 19 degrees out and we are still having light snowfall (tapering down a lot from earlier this AM). A white landscape with very frigid Canada Geese as well as a lone duck (Mallard I think). Have a good day today – I hope you did not get this Arctic blast!

  3. As they say, “good weather for ducks”! At the moment, you are having more winter than we are. Maybe the birds will have to migrate up here to get warm!

  4. They are cool looking ducks–neat that a flock of ten showed up after the first two “scouts” checked the place out. 🙂

  5. I just love those male hooded mergansers. They are cool looking. We had some snow yesterday and last night. A couple of inches on the ground now but the sun is shining on this cold and windy Sunday. I hope you have a great week! Happy Birding!

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