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Posts tagged ‘Hooded Mergansers’

Ducks, a Shorebird, and Songbirds Here

A Lesser Yellowlegs

A Lesser Yellowlegs

I took these pictures in and near my neighborhood in the last several days.  I have enjoyed seeing a Lesser Yellowlegs shorebird, a pair of Hooded Mergansers, NorthernMockingbirds, and a few Eastern Bluebirds.  It has been cooler and rainy here in Marion County, Florida this week so opportunities for bird watching have been limited.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Hooded Merganser Ducks

Hooded Merganser Ducks

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds

A pair of Eastern Bluebirds

A Northern Mockingbird

A Northern Mockingbird

Wordless Wednesday – Waterfowl

Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Hooded Mergansers, Part 2

The little group of Hooded Mergansers were still here yesterday when I took these pictures from outside in my yard.  I braved the slightly warmer temperatures (about 29 degrees F.) and snapped from behind an Oak Tree.  The Hooded Mergansers were sharing the little pond here with a pair of Canada Geese, and some Mallard Ducks and a couple of Gadwall Ducks.  The flock of Wood Ducks were not around.  The snow was rapidly melting and the sun was shining.  The mergansers are diving ducks.  They like eating snails, small fish, smaller turtles and any other small aquatic animals or insects that they can catch.  The mergansers also will dive to avoid predators.

The male or drake, will raise his white hood crest when he is alert, afraid, or aggressive.  I noticed that when the Canada Geese came near, or the duck surfaced near the goose, the drake merganser had his white hood up.  The hens also have a hood but it is a wild-looking fringe of brown that is the same color as the head and neck.  The mergansers are migratory ducks and are just here for a quick visit before going north.  I enjoyed seeing them.   By the way,  the pond is frozen about half-way across.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Snowy Day Pond Visitors

Canada Geese

Yesterday was a very cold snowy day here on the little farm.  The temperatures hovered at just about twenty degrees F. all day.  The pond was visited by Canada Geese early in the morning and then by a flock of about five Hooded Mergansers, and a small flock of about six Wood Ducks.  This is only the third time I have seen Wood Ducks here on the pond since I have lived here.  It is likely that these ducks all are migrating northward and found the pond to be a safe place to wait out the stormy weather.  I took these pictures yesterday from my living room windows.  It was very cold out.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger photo.  Enjoy!

Wood Ducks

Wood Ducks

Canada Geese

Wood Ducks

Hooded Mergansers

Snowy Day at the Pond

The Hooded Mergansers are Back!

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

Pond Pals

The waterfowl all seem to do pretty well together on this little farm pond.  A few days ago I was taking pictures of the ducks and heron.  That Great Blue Heron is around here fairly often and mostly likes to walk around along the shoreline opposite from my home.  The ducks just paddle all over the pond looking for their food or just enjoying themselves.  The weather was cloudy with sun breaks and slightly warmer than normal temperatures.  The weather was in the upper 40’s F.  That is nice weather for our area in January.

The ducks here included:  Mallards, Ring-neck hens, and Hooded Mergansers.  The regulars at the pond also include occasional visits from a small flock of Canada Geese (not present at the time I was taking pictures).  It is always a treat to look out the window and see all of the action going on at the little pond.  I took these pictures on  January 8, 2012 in my yard.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  enjoy!

Migratory Ducks

There were a number of different kinds of ducks here on the pond this past week.  I saw six Hooded Mergansers, a small flock of the gregarious Mallard Ducks, a female Gadwall Duck, and two female Ring-necked Ducks.  I just love going out in the morning and being surprised by the new visitor ducks here on the pond.

On one of the days when the Hooded Mergansers were here on the farm pond, I saw what I assumed were the mergansers exercising their wings or preening.  What was really happening was that the ducks were fishing.  I was surprised to see that I had taken pictures of the hen Hooded Merganser catching a small fish!    There is a spot across the pone from my home where the ducks tend to hide out.  That area is perfect for the ducks to rest at because it has a lot of cover such as Cattail rushes, a fallen log, and small brush.  I really enjoy seeing all of these beautiful ducks and taking pictures of them.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Six Hooded Mergansers Visited the Pond Yesterday

Yesterday was a cold day here in beautiful Cumberland County, TN.  I was looking out the living room window and saw a number of ducks on the pond.  I got my camera and using the long lens, I went to the window and snapped a few pictures of the Hooded Mergansers.  Although it was 24 degrees (F.) out with the wind-chill factor at 11 degrees (F.),  I decided to try to walk out to the trees near the pond and hide behind one to take more pictures.  My strategy worked pretty well.  I saw three pairs of Hooded Mergansers.  These small ducks eat fish, amphibians, turtles and insects. One of the hen (female) mergansers was an  expert at getting her supper on a frigid day.  I think maybe the original pair of mergansers here a few days ago were the advance scouts for this flock.    I have enjoyed having these beautiful ducks here.  This morning I awoke to a frozen pond.  Little wonder as the temperatures have been below freezing for two days and three nights.  We are expecting a few days of warmer temperatures before we again see colder weather.   Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

A Quick Visit by a Pair of Hooded Merganser Ducks

Happy New Year!  A duo of Hooded Mergansers visited the little farm pond the day before yesterday.  Boy oh boy, did that excite me!  They are quite exquisite ducks!  These are mostly fish, amphibian, and insect-eaters.  They were just here pausing on their way to other bodies of water.  Because ducks seem to get along well with other ducks even if not the same kind, these mergansers did fine with the six or so Mallards that were also on the pond.  The Hooded Mergansers are smaller in size than the mallards.  By the way, the drake or male merganser is the one that has a black and white head.  The Hooded Mergansers have a loose fold of skin and feathers that they can raise or lower at will.  Usually they raise the hood when alarmed or alert but not always.

The mergansers only stayed the one day and night and are now visiting yet another pond lake or river area.  They were fun to see!  I took these pictures from my living room window and from the yard quite a ways from the pond (these ducks get frightened easily).  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!

Hooded Mergansers Visit the Lake

Hooded Mergansers came to the lake on Saturday, December 18, 2010 in the morning.  I took the pictures thinking that I was seeing Buffleheads.  Much to my amazement, the Ducks were Hooded Mergansers.  I had to look up some information about these small diving Ducks on the Internet,  as I had never before seen them.  The Hooded Mergansers have a large crest of feathers on their head.  The drakes or males have a white crest which they raise or lower as they desire.  The female is brown with the same kind of crest but their crest is brown.  The drake is black, white and tan.  The Hooded Mergansers have long narrow slightly pointed black bills.  These diving ducks enjoy eating small fish, and small aquatic animals and insects.  These Ducks do stay in Tennessee year around but I have never seen the Hooded Merganser here before.  I saw about six of these Hooded Mergansers, with a quartet and a duo.  I only spotted one hen or female in this group.  There likely were other Hooded Mergansers on the lake as their was a large group of  water birds way out on the far shore of the lake.  After a few moments, the Hooded Mergansers spotted me and flew off to the far shore.  I so enjoyed seeing these visiting Ducks.  I took these pictures from my balcony on 12/18/10 at about 9:00 AM.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph.  Enjoy!

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