It’s always nice to see old friends again, so it felt good to see that the pair of hooded mergansers have returned to my pond to mate, lay eggs, and raise a family. Both the male and female mergansers are unique looking ducks. The males sport a beautiful stripe, patches of color, and on its extra long head, a brilliant white splotch. The females are not as flashy as the male, but do have a reddish brown punk haircut that sticks up in the back.
These hooded mergansers were a surprise to me when they first started showing up at the pond. I had been previously surprised by the wood ducks and had to scramble to put nesting boxes up in some of the trees that surround the pond. I didn’t realize that mergansers also nest in tree boxes, until the female stuck her head out to look at me as I walked around the pond one day (photo below).
They have been successful in raising a new brood of ducklings every year for the last few seasons. I hope that this year will also be a good one for them.
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