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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Red-breasted Mergansers

Most of the Red-breasted Mergansers have migrated north to nest, but a few remain in Madison County.  Hopefully some will nest here.  I love to watch their ability to move and dive in the water and air.  I never get tired of watching them.  Here two males and a female fly in as they migrate through the area in late March.


Here a male makes almost a splashless dive to look for food near the bottom of a canal.


After a dive, this female beats the water off her wings and back as she tries to dry off.  "Use a towel, lady."


This male almost bit off more than he could chew as he tries to swallow a crayfish that does not want to go down.  The crayfish lost and the bird had "lobster" for lunch.


A raft of Red-breasted Mergansers congregate to move to their nesting ground.


I hope they have a happy flight and make it back this fall and next spring.  My camera will be waiting.

23 comments:

texwisgirl said...

great dive shot! they're wonderful, entertaining birds. i hope some stick around for you!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What graceful birds! "Lobster" lunch 'mmmm.

BirdingMaine said...

The second photo of the dive is my favorite. Great post and photos!

Andrew said...

I have just had a struggle getting close enough to get a decent image of this lovely bird on my recent break.....I failed.
I love the second image he looks like he is wearing diving goggles.

Kah-Wai Lin said...

Nice capture! I can feel the spring from your recent post!

mick said...

Very interesting birds and a great series of photos.

Gary said...

They're here now. I'm looking for my share. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Frank said...

Just a winter species for me over here but always a delight to see.

Jeanne Klaver said...

I'll be waiting with you. These birds are so interesting!

Springman said...

Wonderful shots! The image of your merganser choking down the crawfish is Astounding!

Fjällripan said...

Beautiful pictures! Especially photo nr 2,great capture :)

Sharon M said...

Very pretty!

Stewart M said...

Hi there - the dive shot and the "lobster" shot are splendid. No saw-beaks down here, so I'll have to make do with pictures.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

Carletta said...

Excellent series of shots Bill!
"Get a towel Lady" - love your humor. :)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful pictures of the Mergansers, Bill. You are so fortunate to live in areas where there are so many beautiful birds.

Thanks for sharing.
Betsy

Sondra said...

These guys are so athletic!! You have captured them as they go about being mergansers..and done a GREAT JOB of it too!!

joo said...

Superb photos, Bill!

eileeninmd said...

Great shots, Bill! I also love the dive shot, very cool.

Inger-M said...

Beautiful shots! I like the lady drying off :-)

NatureFootstep said...

I´ve tried a lot to get a shot like the second one on the grebes. But the movement is so fast that it is almost impossible. Congrats is in order I think. :)

Pat Ulrich said...

they are very cool birds -- nice captures!

troutbirder said...

Terrific action shots Bill. You must have the patience of Job to get them. I really enjoyed...

JM said...

All are great but the second pic is just fantastic! Great timing. Beautiful birds!