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