Thursday, December 28, 2006

Hooded Mergansers



We've been treated with visits from Hooded Mergansers nearly every day for the past month. I think that letting the pond edges go untrimmed in fall and winter has helped in that regard. (Brings in lots more sparrows too.)

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Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus).
A.K.A. Mergansters, in silly bird names lingo.

8 comments:

Blackswamp_Girl said...

How cool! I love winged visitors. :) How long do you expect them to stay around? (I'm not familiar with their migratory patterns, etc.)

Rurality said...

Unfortunately they are just winter visitors. I wish they'd stay all year. :)

Laurie said...

I bet the birds love the new and improved habitat, good of you to give them a safe haven.

pablo said...

Envy overload!

Ron Sullivan said...

Are they cool, or what? Yes, I bet leaving the pond edges untrimmed did make the pond more inviting -- the ones we see here seem to spend time under the Monterey cypress branches that overhang a couple of ponds at Aquatic Park, or the willows in other ponds.

A few weeks ago we saw a little squad of red-breasted mergansers fishing in Aquatic Park. They were diving and surfacing in unison, patrolling in a line from one edge of the big pond to another, then back at a dfifferent angle, repeat repeat. They were so businesslike and systematic it was funny.

Hey, happy New Year to you all, and your ducks and your little dog too.

Rurality said...

We've discussed getting goats for brush control around the ponds. Not sure if they would eat that far down the slopes or not... they reportedly don't like getting their feet wet! Anyway it's time consuming to have to keep it all clear with a weed-eater. The people who lived here before us were paying big bucks for mowing & weeding the whole place every 3 weeks. It looked better but I think there is more wildlife now.

Ron we don't get the Red-breasted ones here, although I have seen them at the coast in the winter.

Floridacracker said...

When I was a young duck hunter, I brought home a merganser. Rule was, you kill it, you eat it.
Ugh. Do they ever taste bad!
Fish flavored duckmeat.

They are safe forever from my predation. I'll just enjoy their beauty.

Little Blue Petal said...

Aren't they gorgeous! I remember seeing these birds on a visit to Manitoulin Island in Canada. At least, I think these are the same birds. Do they swim with their young tucked up on their backs do you know?