Merganser Chicks in Formation

July 8, 2016

The Merganser chicks’ wings are developing.  They aren’t big enough to fly yet but they can dive and they look like they are flying under water.

Short wings of juvenile Common Mergansers

Short wings of juvenile Common Mergansers

Mama Merganser is on the left in the next photo.  Compare her wings, which include a white patch, to her chicks.  They’ve had their nap and are now ready to get back to business.

common merganser female with chicks

Mom getting her chicks prepared for take-off

Before this family landed on the rocks of the Alsea River, Mama Merganser was chasing something in the river.  I couldn’t see what it was but 2 Mallards also came from across the river quacking at the same thing.  Whatever it was never came back.  The Mallards didn’t even have chicks with them.  I thought it was cool that they joined forces with Mama Merganser.

Common Merganser with 11 chicks

Common Merganser with 11 chicks!

With as many predators who love the tender merganser veal I’m always impressed by the number of chicks a mom is able to raise.  This mom has eleven chicks and it is probably due to their strict obedience to her.

Nesting birds at Seal Rock, Oregon Coast

July 6, 2016

Western Gulls and Cormorants nest on the rocky cliffs on the Oregon Coast.  The gulls are near the top while cormorants like a more risky location.

western gull chicks and adults

Chicks are very well camouflaged

I think seagulls hatch laughing.

western gulls

Western Gulls – HA HA HA ha ha

Cormorant chicks apparently hatch pooping.  If you see streaks of white on the cliffs, look for a nest at the top of the white streak.

Cormorant chicks on the nest

Cormorant chicks on the nest

The Great Blue Heron nests in tree tops but fish in rivers, bays and tidepools.

great blue heron tidepooling

Great Blue Heron like tidepooling for a different reason

I love the contrast of colors on the Pigeon Guillemot: black body, white patch on wings, red legs.

Pigeon Guillemot

Pigeon Guillemot

The mouth lining is also bright red-orange during courting season.  The Pigeon Guillemot is one of the few members of the auk and puffin family to lay 2 eggs.  They also feed in shallower water.

pigeon guillemot

Red mouth and red feet makes it harder to tell when foot is in mouth – which, as we know, can happen a lot during courtship


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