Their diet is made up mostly of small fish, crawfish, and aquatic insects. As frigid weather sweeps toward us in December, common mergansers are the last ducks to stop over on Westborough’s ponds and lakes, just before the waters ice over. Finally the rivers are beginning to open up more even though the larger bodies of water are still snow covered. During the winter, they can be seen in the Chesapeake Bay region, seeking freshwater wherever possible. THE ZOO IS OPEN! Unlike the beaks of most waterfowl, theirs are long and serrated. They also eat other prey, including insects, frogs, mussels, and snails. Common mergansers ride low in the water. While out running errands, I stopped at a nearby beach front and … Excellent and difficult capture Judi, you nailed it!!! Congratulations Judi, your work is Featured in "A Birding Group - Wings"! The hooded merganser is a diving duck that prefers running water, freshwater, and woods.
Currency: USD ($) If a diving merganser is lucky, it will come up with a fish and work to swallow it quickly, before one of its fellows can steal the prize away. Females line their nests with downy feathers from their own chests. Very often, they will come back to the same nesting sites used in the past. Hooded mergansers do not eat much plant material. A group of them took off as we approached the stream running through a... more. They sometimes ride on the mother’s back and even manage to stay there during a dive.
During courtship, the male hooded merganser makes a distinctive, rolling, frog-like crrroooooo call that can be heard from a distance. They spend most of their time on the water and even sleep there at night. Exclusive member offers, news & renewal information. Great action photography Judi. Common mergansers apparently aren’t especially good to eat so they are not prized by duck hunters, but they do get shot. Made @ MISSION, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. They lay clutches of 6-15 eggs and incubate them for 29-37 days. They spend most of their time on the water and even sleep there at night. If you spot some common mergansers, have some fun watching them dive. Today only! Amazing timely capture. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Merganser/id.
Sometimes they will nest some distance from the water, but generally they really like boxes over the water. Unlike dabbling ducks, Hooded Mergansers swim low in the water. Females nest in cavities found in trees, usually very near water. Facebook - Opens in new window In winter, it seeks forested wetlands, brackish estuaries and tidal creeks. Why are ducks so shy at this time of year? They fly fast and straight, often using their feet to give themselves a running start on the water when they take to the air. They catch prey by diving underwater and are well-adapted to see and catch fish underwater. During breeding season, it is found on clear-water streams, ponds, and lakes. They’re one of several kinds of ducks that pass through on their way south, already bright in breeding plumage. And with the rivers flowing a steady stream of ducks seem to be arriving daily.
Common mergansers typically have 9-12 ducklings, which are covered with down and have their eyes open when they hatch. Instagram - Opens in new window Hooded Mergansers will take to nest boxes or barrels, either on the ground or raised. Their bills have serrated edges that work well in gripping fish. One reason is duck hunting season, which occurs in late fall and early winter. Viewed 524 Times - Last Visitor from Canton, Ga on 11/05/2020 at 9:13 AM, Add This Artwork to Your Favorites Collection. Carnivore - Mostly fish, aquatic insects, crawfish, some plant material. All Rights Reserved . Dives typically last about 30 seconds and go 6-12 feet deep, but these ducks can stay under for 2 minutes and dive 19 feet down. 20% off all wall art! They fly fast and straight, often using their feet to give themselves a running start on the water when they take to the air. These ducks – and others –tend to spend most of their time far out in the middle of our lakes, but they may feed closer to shore in shallower water. JPY (¥) The females are less showy, all the better to avoid notice while they sit on a nest or tend young. In Europe they nest as far south as the Swiss lakes, but they are principally a bird of the northern forests, favouring fast-flowing … After 1-2 days, they leave the nest and can swim and feed themselves. In winter, it seeks forested wetlands, brackish estuaries and tidal creeks. F/L. Common mergansers ride low in the water.
Similarly, they can be seen in the Marsh Aviary exhibit in the Maryland Wilderness at the Maryland Zoo. The females are light gray, with a reddish brown head, white chin patch, and red-orange bill and feet. The photograph may be purchased as wall art, home decor, apparel, phone cases, greeting cards, and more. For this reason, they are not as limited in their nesting opportunities as are wood ducks (Aix sponsa; see Nature Notes of June 9, 2006 at http://www.westboroughlandtrust.org/nn/nn54.php), which nest only in tree holes and in the nest boxes that people put up for them on ponds. You can find common mergansers right in Westborough at the right times of year, but you might also notice them if you travel in other parts of the world, including Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, and parts of China, Japan, and Korea. Look for other diving ducks, such as buffleheads (Bucephala albeola), which seem to like the Westborough Reservoir, ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris), and hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus; see Nature Notes of March 31, 2006 at http://www.westboroughlandtrust.org/nn/nn49.php). 8–12 white eggs are incubated for 32 to 33 days by the female alone. Twitter - Opens in new window The ideal size for the entrance hole is 8cm. As I swam, there were small feathers on the surface of the lake, and still the shadows of mergansers as I moved through the water. These ducks are relatively long, about 25 inches long – a couple of inches more than the mallards we’re used to seeing everywhere. Tax ID# 52-0996352. Hooded mergansers renew pair bonds yearly and split up at the start of incubation.
Like most ducks we see, male and female common mergansers (Mergus merganser) look different. The hooded merganser is a diving duck that prefers running water, freshwater, and woods. Merganser running on the water is a photograph by Judi Dressler which was uploaded on September 28th, 2017. After 8 days, they can do their own diving. Common Mergansers are found throughout the northern hemisphere, and in winter can be seen in large flocks, sometimes of thousands of birds. Spring is officially here when you can find ducks of all kind coming back to the area. Sign up for our newsletter for exclusive deals, discount codes, and more. You’ll see plenty of mallards. All products are produced on-demand and shipped worldwide within 2 - 3 business days. They also need clear water for hunting by sight, so changes that cloud the water are not good for them.
They’ll dive to the bottom and poke around in the mud or gravel there, and pick prey off the bottom. AUD ($) In the spring, common mergansers will pass through Westborough again, as soon as the ice melts. Fish are slippery prey, but common mergansers are well equipped. !...F/L/T, Fabulous flight photograph of a Merganser with great colors, light, clarity, and perspective, Judi! Likes + Favorites. Hooded mergansers do not eat much plant material.
If acid rain changes the nature of the water and the fish that can live in it, common mergansers will be affected. For this reason, they can serve as indicators of the health of North American waters.
They’re more comfortable on water than on land because their feet are positioned far back on their body, near the tail, making it awkward to balance when they stand. The Zoo's monthly newsletter and news updates.
These bills have earned them the nickname “sawbill.” To help them digest fish, bones and all, common mergansers have gizzards containing about a teaspoonful of gravel. EUR (€) Busy as this time of year can be, find some time to look for the interesting ducks that December brings to town.