Common Mergansers on the Humber: Feb 21, 2022

In my experience it is rarely possible to get close to this large duck.

Common Mergansers
Common Mergansers (female)

They are more likely in our area to been seen on rivers rather than in Lake Ontario.

Common Mergansers
Common Mergansers (male)
Common Mergansers (female)

In the breeding season, Common Merganser females “kidnap” youngsters from less aggressive mothers so that broods of 30 or more are accumulated.

Common Mergansers (photo: National Audubon Society)

Other birds:

American Robin
Mallards and American Black Duck (female)
Common Goldeneye (female)
Common Goldeneye (male)
Common Goldeneye
Dark-eyed Junco
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker (male)
Herring Gull
Canada Goose
Northern Cardinal (male)
Red-bellied Woodpecker (male)

Humber River area scenes:

Skunk-cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Skunk-cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
Dog-strangling Vine on Black Locust
Squirrel in Colorado Spruce
White Spruce (Picea glauca)
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)

Today’s group:


Hi Miles,
We haven’t had red fox sightings in this neighbourhood in more than a decade (coyotes are a different story). About a month ago we saw one passing through the front garden. Then the real thrill came Monday afternoon when I glanced out the window and saw one in the backyard. I grabbed my camera and started shooting through the window. I don’t know how it got into the fenced-in yard, but it hung around for about 10 minutes before looking for a place to jump the chain-link fence and moving on to the neighbour’s y


She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes.          – Lord Byron (1788–1824)

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Common Mergansers on the Humber: Feb 21, 2022

  1. Lisa Volkov

    They kidnap the young of other, less aggressive mothers? What is that–some sort of “survival of the fittest”?
    Because they can protect/take care of them better?
    The things one learns!

  2. Gloria James

    That female merganser must have a very strong maternal instinct. My husand was laughing at the photo and said she looked like a kindergarten teacher with her class of ducklings!

    I was really impressed with the agility of the fox climbing the chain link fence – what a beautiful,intelligent animal.


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