Common Merganser Males

I needed to buy some medicine for Skye at the vets yesterday, and never one to waste gas I decided once again that I would time my visit so that I could visit Waughop lake. Unfortunately, the sun breaks were so short that it was only clear a small part of the time, but still long enough to get some interesting shots.

Most interesting to me were shots of Common Mergansers, specifically male Mergansers. I knew that the males change colors dramatically during breeding, but I’d never seen it displayed as dramatically as it was today.

It began when I started seeing ducks that I couldn’t identify, though they looked vaguely familiar. What I was seeing was male Common Mergansers changing right in front of my eyes, from that male that looks more like a female than a male

Merganser Beginning to Change Breeding Colors

to this male, which seems about half transformed,

Merganser Half Way to Breeding Colors

to these Mergansers in full regalia.

male Common Mergansers in Breeding Plumage

5 thoughts on “Common Merganser Males”

  1. Okay, now, these weren’t literally changing as I watched. There were a number of different ducks that were at different stages of change. Little hyperbole there on my part.

  2. Wow, very cool!

    Reminds me of the New Yorker cartoon I saw today, “Mayfly midlife crisis”: (mayfly looking at himself in the mirror) “I’ve got a wife, kids, a career–Jesus! I’m twelve hours old! How did this happen to me?”

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