Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 10/09/2015


Photo taken on October  8, 2015


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nature
side view
Anatidae
Anseriformes
Panasonic DMC-FZ200
FZ200
annkelliott
Anne Elliott
Hooded Merganser
Lophodytes cucullatus
Lophodytes
Irrigation Canal
Merginae
Western Headworks Pathway
irrigation canal of Bow River
FZ200#3
8 October 2015
Calgary
Alberta
Canada
water
canal
birds
duck
male
autumn
bird
outdoor
waterfowl
swimming
reflections
two
fall
adult
ornithology
avian
crest lowered


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Hooded Merganser males

Hooded Merganser males
All three photos posted this morning were taken yesterday, 8 October 2015. Friend Sandy had asked if I wanted to go with her to join friends down at the Irrigation Canal in the city, for a birding walk. This was a long walk - three and a half hours - along both sides of the canal. As you can see in this image, it was a beautiful fall day with enough trees still dressed in gold to give some colourful reflections. The water level was very low, creating just a narrow strip of water with a wide mud bank on either side, that had attracted a number of Greater Yellowlegs and a single American Golden-plover. The latter was a new bird for me and, though I could only get a very distant, poor shot, I've posted it this morning. To me, a juvenile American Golden Plover looks so similar to a juvenile Black-bellied Plover (from photos I've seen), but the ID for the bird we saw was given as American Golden-plover. Much of the time, there were pale, dead grasses in the background and this bird was almost impossible to see.

I don't often see Hooded Mergansers and, when I do see one, it's always a long way away. They are quite spectacular ducks, especially the males, who have a crest at the back of their head and can raise this black and white "hood" or lower it (as in this photo). These two guys just did not want to raise their impressive crests.

"“Hooded” is something of an understatement for this extravagantly crested little duck. Adult males are a sight to behold, with sharp black-and-white patterns set off by chestnut flanks. Females get their own distinctive elegance from their cinnamon crest. Hooded Mergansers are fairly common on small ponds and rivers, where they dive for fish, crayfish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills. They nest in tree cavities; the ducklings depart with a bold leap to the forest floor when only one day old." From AllAboutBirds.

www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Merganser/id

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooded_Merganser

The list of the 31 bird species seen (not all by me) from our leaders, Dan and David:

1. Canada Goose - 60+
2. Mallard - 150+
3. Northern Shoveler - 1
4. Green-winged Teal - 2
5. Hooded Merganser - 3 males
6. Common Merganser - 20+
7. Double-crested Cormorant - 4
8. Bald Eagle - 1, immature
9. Red-tailed Hawk - 1 (Harlan’s subspecies)
10. Rough-legged Hawk - 5 (4 dark phase, 1 light phase)
11. AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER
12. Killdeer - 1
13. Greater Yellowlegs - 38+
14. Long-billed Dowitcher - 11
15. Ring-billed Gull - 400+
16. Herring Gull - 2
17. Rock Pigeon - 32+
18. Downy Woodpecker - 1
19. Hairy Woodpecker - 2
20. Northern Flicker - 2
21. Merlin - 2
22. Black-billed Magpie - 15+
23. American Crow - 6
24. Common Raven - 2
25. Black-capped Chickadee - 7
26. White-breasted Nuthatch - 1
27. American Robin - 8
28. European Starling - 18+
29. Yellow-rumped Warbler - 2
30. American Tree Sparrow - 1
31. House Finch - 1

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