Tag Archives: common merganser

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.

Mom Merganser Fishing with 16 Ducklings

Kudos to this mama merganser!  I counted at least 16 babies with her.  I can’t imagine keeping up with this many kids at once.  I’ve seen the Common Merganser mom defending her chicks though.  She is not to be reckond with!

[youtube https://youtu.be/7ADPSd6tFMM]

They all gather when she gives a soft quack.

16 common merganser ducklings
I count 16 Common Merganser babies

And she does it all with style; not a hair out of place.  🙂

merganser mom with ducklings
Common Merganser mom with ducklings

The ducklings were having trouble fighting the current in the fast water so Mama took them across the rocks – in single file.

merganser ducklings
Marching across the rocks to get past the whitewater