Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hooded Mergansers.

Garden City Park: A man was standing at the far side of the pond, singing mournful Chinese opera. A woman who is often there was in the middle of the footbridge, performing her athletic stretching routine.

Hooded Mergansers, male.

The Hooded Mergansers, three males, two females, are recent arrivals, back to the south coast from their northern or inland forested wetland breeding sites. These smallest of the American mergansers are shy, and unused to these sights and sounds. They swam in confused circles, wondering where they were.

Front view.

They don’t appear to have paired up; the males seem more interested in each other than in the females, who swim quietly, close to shore.

Hooded Merganser, female.
In November ’07 a pair of Hoodies hung out here. They don't mind the shallow water, and there seem to be enough brown bullheads, invertebrates, and liberated goldfish to keep them fed. This year, at least five birds already. Word is getting around.

The youthful Garden City Park pond continues to develop: more people, more goldfish, more birds, more music.

Hooded Merganser, back of the hood.

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