Who Goosed the Merganser?

Common Mergansers are voracious eaters.  These 4 siblings know just where to find the fish in the Alsea River.

merganser siblings
Siblings compare notes

I didn’t see them catching any crawdads but there were plenty of mudcats, or sculpin, being swallowed.

2 Mergansers each have a fish
2 Mergansers each have a fish

It actually looks like a terrible way to die for a fish.

It takes a while for the duck to get it into the right position to swallow so the fish doesn’t spread its fins.

merganser with fish
That’s a big tale to swallow

I keep wanting to lend him my opposable thumbs.

I watched, several times, as one duck would come up under another who had a fish.  It looked like they’d try to scare it into dropping it.  In this video, though, I think one is trying to grab it from the other.  I’m not sure who won but the fish clearly did not.  I choose to believe the first duck hung onto his food and got to finish his meal.  But I’m an optimist and don’t like thieves…even if they are just siblings at the dinner table.

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One thought on “Who Goosed the Merganser?”

  1. Amazing captures and blog here! I initially noticed your “Merganser Scuffle vs Sculpin” shots. Wow, so was the fish in “a big tale to swallow” the same sculpin (aren’t they quite sharp/spiky fish as well?) captured in the video?

    It is kind of hard for me to tell, but does one of the birds really manage to gulp that huge thing down entirely okay?? Does the fish put up a good fight, if eaten, does the unlucky prey get swallowed wriggling/alive as well?!

    -Kyle

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