Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hooded Mergansers

Two hooded mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) enjoyed a late afternoon swim and a bit of fishing at the cemetery pond today.  Females can be easily distinguished from males -- females are a warm orange brown with dark eyes while adult males in mating plumage are a striking black and white above and brown below. Adult males have yellow eyes.  At first, I thought these two were females, but after looking at these photos enlarged, their eyes seem too light colored.  I believe these are actually two immature males.

There's plenty to eat here, especially goldfish which gather in large numbers around the pond's many ledges.

Another frequent visitor is this great blue heron. Later, another heron arrived and awkwardly perched in a tree next to the pond but never joined in the fishing.

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