Sunday, May 28, 2006

Female Hooded Merganser

These pictures were taken in our back yard, the first two on May 17th and the last one on 4th May 2006. I never did get a good picture of the male who once the female starts incubating the eggs, leaves and doesn't assist in the incubation or rearing of the chicks. She's nesting in a Wood Duck house that is on the edge of one of our ponds. When the eggs hatch, she flies down to the nearby water and then calls her babies out within 24 hours of them hatching. If she isn't satisfied that the surroundings are safe, she will then march her brood off to a safer place. Her clutch has now hatched but we never did see the little ones. Hooded Mergansers are fish eaters and are very good at catching small fish. Their eyesight underwater is very good. They actually have a third eyelid that acts like a pair of goggles when swimming underwater.


Kathy said...

Wow, what a bird paradise in your backyard!

Fred's photos said...

Thanks. Yes we're really lucky to live where we do.