Jen and I are up to our ears in bird feeders. The current collection includes:
Shucked Sunflower Seeds
and a special Bluebird mix
Our five feeders reside just outside our breakfast nook window and we’ve taken great joy in our daily feathered visitors. For the most part, these visitors are recycled. We see the same seasonal birds over and over.
This past weekend, however, our eyes were diverted to an unexpected source: ducks.
I have never been interested in ducks. I think it’s because of their size. They don’t have the endearing smallness of a Pheobe and they don’t have the impressive grandeur of a heron or a hawk. Ducks are pretty middle of the road. This weekend that lackluster appeal took a dramatic turn.
Our backyard is framed by a large water hazard. It falls somewhere between the characterization of pond and marsh. On Saturday a flash of white coasting across the water caught my eye… it was a hooded merganser.
The hooded merganser has a giant bright white hooded head. It’s so odd-looking that it ignited in me an immediate deep interest in ducks. I pulled out my telescope, found my camera mount, and desperately tried to take pictures – but was grossly ineffective. Every evening since, I’ve been looking out trying to spot the return of the hooded merganser with no avail.
Even if it doesn’t return, I’m grateful that the hooded merganser has inspired me to delve into the ducks chapter of my Peterson’s Field Guide.