Tag Archives: duck

Mink vs Mallard – Act II

How lucky are we to see this again!!

I saw 2 groups of Mallard ducks across the river.  They stopped to look at something on the riverbank of the Alsea River.  I saw a very small mink running along the bank so I started recording.  Mama-Mallard kept her 5 babies safe again!

If you watch where the duck is looking you’ll see movement under the brush.  That’s the mink.  He dives in after them and Mama scatters her ducklings.  This is a larger mink than I saw at first so I’m wondering about a mink family living nearby???  How cool is THAT!

Click/tap the link to watch the YouTube video:  https://youtu.be/9T_Nh9kePiA

Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling
Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling
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Mink vs Mallards on the Alsea River

This Mallard mama did not turn her back on the mink that was running alongside her family on the Alsea River this morning.

Mallard mom with 5 ducklings
Mallard mom with 5 ducklings

The mink ran ahead; darting in and out of the riverside debris.

Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling
Mink waits for opportunity to snatch a mallard duckling

Mama-duck quacked and followed the mink to keep it moving and to let it know she was vigilantly protecting her ducklings.

mallard mom lays down the law
I said, Listen to me!

She see’s her children are paying attention when she didn’t think they were.

mallard duckling imitates mom
If Mom can do this, I can do this.

I wonder what else mink eat?  This one might not get duck for lunch.

Mink on the Alsea River
Mink on the Alsea River

Signs of Spring

The signs of spring are everywhere!

My neighbor calls these flowers a honeysuckle.  I finally saw these for sale at the local market!  They are Azaleas.  They smell so pretty!

Honesuckle-flowers

The Common Mergansers are starting their courting.  The female mergansers seem the most aggressive.  Females chase off other females when they get too close to the man she likes.  The guys don’t seem to care who is close.  Sometimes the males just swim away from all the drama but sometimes they like to watch the girl-fight.

CommonMerganserCouple
For Pete’s sake Mabel, fix your hair!

I’ve seen several male mallards but no females yet.

mallard-male-2

Here’s a lone Hooded Merganser female.  It seems like the hoodies courtship season comes a little later.

hooded-merganser-female

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.

Merganser Chicks Ride on Mom’s Back

What an awesome day on the Alsea River!

tidewater alsea river
Head of tidewater on the Alsea River

There were osprey, kingfishers, mallards and common and hooded mergansers.  All the ducks had chicks.

mallard hen and chicks
Mallard hen with chicks

The mallard hen had 8 or 9 chicks with her.  It’s hard to count those little bobbing heads while trying to keep up with mom in the rapids.  Watch the video of the mallard chicks following mama across the river.  They look like they are connected by elastic.

[youtube https://youtu.be/dKQULrAl_gM]

Click on YouTube (bottom right) for a larger video.

A Common Merganser hen had 11 chicks with her today.  She was VERY protective.  She defended them from another female merganser who came too close.

merganser mom defends chicks
Common Merganser mom protects chicks from other merganser

A Hooded Merganser had 3 chicks with her today but I didn’t get a photo.  One of her chicks got mixed in with the Common Merganser’s chicks.  The Common Merganser Mom attacked the Hoodie chick, throwing it across the water several times.  it was a violent attack on such a harmless little baby.  I wondered if she killed the chick but later saw the family intact.  I don’t understand what the threat was.

merganser chicks resting
Common Merganser Mom resting with chicks

Then I finally saw the merganser chicks riding on their mom’s back!  The only way she can get some peace is to dive.  🙂  Watch the video of the Common Merganser mom and chicks:

[youtube https://youtu.be/0HXZEN58tIU]

Click on YouTube (bottom right) for a larger video.

Wood Ducks and Bear Bait

The bears are going to be happy this fall!  We’ve got lots of apple blossoms.

Stellar Jays on Apple Tree
Stellar Jays on Apple Tree

The wood ducks made an appearance this afternoon.  It looks like the male on the left is a young one just coming into his breeding colors.  Maybe still living with Mom and Dad until he gets through this awkward stage?

Wood Ducks in Tidewater
Wood Ducks in Tidewater

The hen stayed closer to the larger male so I’m guessing they are a couple.

Wood Ducks in Tidewater
Wood Duck Couple

Maybe we need to make a nest box.

Ducks on the Alsea River

It seems like an early spring here on the Oregon Coast!  The ducks were out like crazy yesterday.

[youtube http://youtu.be/4ZXW1YEz5AM]

Hooded and common mergansers, ring-necks, buffleheads and goldeneyes…

Female Bufflehead
    Female Bufflehead
Hooded Merganser Couple
     Hooded Merganser Couple
Hooded Merganser eating crawdad
     Hooded Merganser eating crawdad
Male Common Goldeneye
     Male Common Goldeneye
top: female common merganser;  bottom: female goldeneye
  top: female common merganser; bottom: female common goldeneye
Ring-necked duck and male common merganser
 Ring-necked duck and male common merganser