Tag Archives: hooded merganser

Never too young to fish

This Hooded Merganser mom supervises while the chicks fish to feed themselves.

[youtube https://youtu.be/lAOdu6E14f0]

Click on YouTube on the bottom-right of the video to watch it in a larger frame.

I can’t tell what the chick caught but I think he won.

Hoodie mom with chicks
Hoodie mom with chicks
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Hooded Merganser Mom with 5 Chicks

Aren’t these little Hooded Merganser chicks the cutest!

merganser chicks following mom
Stick with mom!

The chicks seem to panic a little until mom resurfaces.

chicks panic when mom merganser dives
Where’d she go?!

She’s fishing for 6 now so the Hoody mom makes her dive count.  She comes up with a crawdad!

merganser mom eating crawdad with 5 chicks trailing
Mom’s got a crawdad for dinner!

Watch the video of the Hooded Merganser mom with her 5 chicks in tidewater of the Alsea River:

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

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

Winter Birding

Winter is a great time for birding – especially if you live in a migratory pathway.

Ring-necked ducks
Scaups

We get to see different birds in the winter than in the summer months.  The scaups aren’t too common this far up the Alsea River.  I’m not sure if these are the Greater or Lesser Scaups.

Male Common Merganser
Male Common Merganser

Common Mergansers aren’t as common as their name implies; at least on our section of the river.  I love the stark, contrasting, colors on the male mergansers.

Heron and Hoodies
Heron and Hoodies share a fishing spot

A Great Blue Heron was fishing out in front this morning.  His Hooded Merganser friends did a drive-by to check out why he was there.

I snapped a couple photos through the window; knowing that the heron would quickly leave when I opened the window or door for a better shot.

mallard ducks
Mallards – Bottoms Up!

By the liiiiiiiiight of the silvery mooooooooon….

I hear that song in my head every time I see the mallards feeding 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Light

How fitting!  I’ve been struggling with light settings on my camera because I know nothing about how a camera works and I mostly use the autofocus setting.

Plus… I like to photograph waterfowl and if the sun is bright, it adds another light challenge of reflecting off the water.

Female common Merganser
Female common Merganser

I asked a friend why the white parts of so many of my photos looked so bright and lacked detail.

He said that photos taken in low light will make white surfaces whiter and you get a washed out look.

Female Hooded Merganser
Female Hooded Merganser

Even if I tweak the photo in some photo software, I can’t completely compensate for my lack of knowledge of how to use a camera.

Mating Ritual of the Hooded Mergansers
Mating Ritual of the Hooded Mergansers

My friend did give me some tips though so I’ll keep learning and trying to apply it to get better pix.

The hooded mergansers were fun to watch.  I assume it was a mating ritual.  The female stretched out flat in the water as the male swam away from her; stretching his neck forward, then retracting it.  Then he’d swim back toward her doing the same thing.  When another female came toward her, she chased her off.  At that point I think her coyness was busted.

2 youth and 1 adult Goldeneye
2 youth and 1 adult Goldeneye

Today the Goldeneyes spent a lot of time feeding in front of our house.  I think these are Common Goldeneyes instead of the Barrow’s Goldeneyes.

Adult Goldeneye
Adult Goldeneye

I presume the autofocus camera can compensate for lack of light by slowing the shutter speed.  I think that’s why these photos aren’t focused perfectly.  If it were film I could see that slowing the shutter speed would let in more light due to the time it is exposed.  But I wonder how a camera over-exposes a digital image?

duck dive
Dive! Dive!

I do know that a slower shutter speed doesn’t stop action as well as a quick snap.  That’s a Goldeneye-side-flip.