Friday 18 April 2014

Welcome Back, Mergansers

    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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