Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hooded Merganser Return to Black Dog

On Thursday the 31st I took off after work and went out to do a bit of birding, my first stop was Black Dog Lake. This trip to Black Dog was a bit more exciting then the last couple because I had a new subject to photograph. A pair of hooded mergansers was swimming in the river near where one of the channels enters from the lake.
Hooded mergansers are not uncommon or rare but I was still pretty pumped. Even though I love taking pictures of eagles and trumpeter swans, I have really been looking forward to a little more variety.
The hooded merganser can be found only in North America. It is the smallest species of merganser in North America and the second smallest of the six species world wide. It is a diving duck that uses its clear nictitating membrane to protect its open eyes so that it can see underwater to hunt for fish.

The hooded merganser was one of the last birds that I saw leave this area to migrate. I am hoping that seeing them return is a sign that the spring migration may soon begin.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Those are beautiful birds. I see you have link to the Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival. Will you be going? Another Minnesota bird blogger and I will be attending also. I would like to post link to your site if I may.

Ecobirder said...

Thanks or visiting Lynne. Yes I will be at the Sax Zim Bog Birding Festival next week. It should be a good time.I have put up a link to your site.

Anonymous said...

These are wonderfully stylish little birds and I look forward to seeing them every winter. There are several groups of them in front of the house now, with three large rafts of 250-300 redheads a little farther out. I live on Santa Rosa Sound on the north Florida Gulf coast near Pensacola. Last week we had 2 swans.