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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Nesting along the creek?

Do you remember the post about Common Mergansers cruising Salmon Creek in late April?  You can review those images of adult mergansers here.

In that post I mentioned that Common Mergansers had been documented nesting along the Russian River and Austin Creek.  Tonight I saw something that made me wonder if the adults I saw in the spring nested somewhere along Salmon Creek?

This flock of juvenile mergansers swam past me towards the mouth of Salmon Creek.  How many do you count?

I counted ten individuals.  (Common Mergansers regularly have broods of 9-12 young.)  

You can compare these birds to the adults in the April post.  One of the features that identifies them as juveniles is the buffy stripe or line below the eye.  The next picture is a slightly closer view that allows you to see the striped faces of the juveniles.  (Note also that the juvenile birds have paler bills than the adults.)

Perhaps someone knows more about whether Common Mergansers may have nested somewhere along Salmon Creek this year?

1 comment:

Skip Hand said...

A few days ago we also saw a raft of young Mergansers on the Creek. Are there also adults / older ones in your images?

On the morning of June 19, 2011, I took a photo of a Mom and her 13 "Merganserlings” resting on a floating log in Salmon Creek. These were definitely pre-flight ‘lings. (Please see your Lab email.)