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Old 04-05-2018, 04:27 PM   #1
Cal-to-NH
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Default Red Breasted Mergansers

Hi folks

Weirdest pair of diving-duck type of bird this year - can't leave my dock alone. They're here every day.

Huge difference in appearance of the male vs female. Apparently they are a mating pair of Red Breasted Mergansers

see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-breasted_merganser
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Old 04-05-2018, 05:38 PM   #2
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Could you take some pictures of them for us.
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:39 PM   #3
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Default Mergansers

They are in front of our house too and very entertaining to watch. It appeared they were fishing together and when one fell asleep on the job the other one grabbed him/her by the scruff of the neck and spun them around......then back to work for both.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:33 PM   #4
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Default Hooded Mergansers

They are “hooded mergansers” and are very prevalent around the lake. They are beautiful.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panther View Post
They are in front of our house too and very entertaining to watch. It appeared they were fishing together and when one fell asleep on the job the other one grabbed him/her by the scruff of the neck and spun them around......then back to work for both.
Hmmm...I believe you may have been witnessing mating activity! Many times it seems the drake is beating up on the hen when it’s something totally different!
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:51 AM   #6
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Default Red, Common, and Hooded Mergansers...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal-to-NH View Post
Hi folks Weirdest pair of diving-duck type of bird this year - can't leave my dock alone. They're here every day. Huge difference in appearance of the male vs female. Apparently they are a mating pair of Red Breasted Mergansers see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-breasted_merganser
Easily confused with the Common Merganser; here, the Common Merganser male shows a very crisp appearance, while the females of both species have a "bad hair day" appearance.



Common Mergansers have huge families, with chicks that can get "blended" with other Merganser moms. It doesn't help that Merganser moms lay eggs in the nests of their neighbor Mergansers. The males have long been gone to bachelor quarters—elsewhere.

Sailors and aviators would recognize that Mergansers have "high-aspect-ratio" wings, which helps to account for their 100-MPH speeds—the fastest among ducks, and just edging-out Bald Eagles in top speed. They typically fly low to the water. Like the landings of Loons, photographs of Mergansers in top speed flight are a good "coup" for the photographer.

I watched as a pair of Hooded Mergansers, normally wary, pulled crayfish—one after the other—from the edge of my wooded shoreline. They are the earliest of migrant ducks, being content among narrow openings in Lake Winnipesaukee's ice that allow them a short run to get airborne.

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Old 04-07-2018, 08:25 AM   #7
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I agree. I would like to see the pictures, but I imagine they are common mergansers. We have lots of them on the lake.
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Old 04-11-2018, 05:06 PM   #8
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OK, I have had 4-5 Hooded mergansers around my dock for the past several weeks. I've been watching them fish, very entertaining.
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