Mergansers Flirting

I know I posted something like this last year when the Hooded Mergansers frequented the Port Orchard Marina, but I’ve been observing it for years and it still fascinates me. I first observed it in Goldeneye ducks, but apparently it’s fairly common in ducks, though it took me 70 years to notice it.

I sure wish I spoke Merganser because I can never quite figure out the scene. I just know this a common way males try to attract the attention of a female that has caught their attention.

This is actually the first time I’ve ever seen a female mimic the actions of the male.


They actually seemed to be talking to each other,

and I thought this might be the beginning of pairing.

I was less sure of the supposition, though, when two other females started following the male after his display, while the original female moved back with a glassy-eyed look.

POSTSCRIPT: My friend John tells me that the one that looks like a female Merganser is probably an immature male, as indicated by the dark beak and yellow eyes. In which case, he’s probably learning how to flirt rather than being the object of the flirtation.

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