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Two pairs of Hooded Mergansers came to visit my immediate neighborhood yesterday afternoon which surprised and delighted me no end!  The migratory ducks were swimming in the large rainfall retention basin pond, (newly filled with storm water) located two blocks down from my home here in Marion County, Florida.

The ducks likely would not find very much to eat in that basin these days due to the pond having been previously almost totally dried up in recent weeks (big storms for past two days replenished the basin’s water).   In fact, this area usually looks like a sunken lawn.  Hooded Mergansers like eating fish, frogs, and aquatic insects and worms.  Perhaps this foursome did get some small insects or worms for their meal.  I hope so.

By the way, the hens are the ones with the fuzzy-looking brown crest on top of their head.  I had been hoping to see some ducks here in Florida and was especially excited to see some so close to home!  I took these pictures at about 4:00PM yesterday (Jan. 14, 2014) here on my street (hiding behind a Camellia bush!).  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

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Comments on: "A Surprise Visit by Hooded Merganser Ducks!" (10)

  1. they have such flair! so cool they came to your neighborhood pond!

    • Hi Theresa, My husband and I were driving down our street when I looked over to that basin area and spotted the ducks. I quickly went home and got the camera and walked the two blocks to get the photographs taken. Had to actually hide behind a bunch of Camellias. I was so sure the ducks would see me and flee. It was thrilling! Very unusual circumstance, too. Have a super good day today!

  2. I love the fuzzy headed females. Such gorgeous birds. SO glad they visited you…
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    • Hi Betsy, Yes, I am too! I agree that the females are gorgeous. By the way, I looked at the basin where I spotted the ducks yesterday – no ducks today and half the water has soaked into the ground or evaporated away. That is how the basins do work so it’s really a wonder that we had ducks on the little pond area anyway. Lucky us! Have a super good day tomorrow and stay warm!

  3. I love the Hooded Mergansers. The male is a handsome duck! Great post! Have a great evening and week ahead!

    • Hi Eileen, I think these ducks are so lovely. I was enormously pleased that we had ducks in our residential neighborhood. The basin where the ducks were at, is lushly landscaped with Pines, Camellias, a Lemon Tree and other plants on three sides. There is only one home at the end and three streets border the basin. So, the ducks likely thought it a natural pond spot. Have a wonderful Thursday tomorrow!

  4. They sure have pretty marking on them! It look like a lot of species will find their way through your area , perhaps stopping just to warm up!

  5. Awesome sighting, they are quite striking!

    • Hi Donna, Yes, the Mergansers are very handsome ducks. By the way, the basin where I saw and photographed these ducks is bone dry today. It is a temporary pond that fills when it rains. It was almost 3′ deep that day. Have a wonderful Sunday tomorrow!

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