Hooded Mergansers on North Creek

There was a special and rare treat waiting when B and I went out to feed the North Creek ducks by the ballfields. We came across a Hooded Merganser pair floating along. I’ve only ever seen them on Lake Washington before, never on our smaller ponds or creeks.

Image is a female and male pair of Hooded Mergansers.
Hooded Merganser mates on North Creek.

I love these birds. They’re so visually arresting – few birds look as cool.

Image is a crop of the previous, so that finer detail can be seen.
Close-up of the previous image.

The last time I’d seen any, the boys were showing off for the girls at Lake Washington. I like to think these two maybe paired up there, and eloped to North Creek for a quieter life on their own.

The mergansers have turned and are swimming left. There's a bit of space between them now.
Another direction.

The boy was doing some diving. The girl was just happily swimming along.

They're now swimming to the right. There's less space between.
Notice the girl’s always in the lead?

They’re definitely more shy around humans than the other birds on the creek. I wonder where these particular ones summer? It doesn’t seem like it’s in an area with a lot of people.

Image shows the female merganser. Her head is reflected in the ripply water.
The lady.

Lovely, isn’t she? And she made a good choice as far as mates, it appears:

Image shows the male merganser, whose head is also reflected in the water.
The gentleman.

I’m naming them Harry and Hermione due to the lightning-shaped marking on the boy.

Let me know which of these you’d like to see offered at my Red Bubble store, and I swear I will get round to putting them up there.

Also, in answer to the speculation going on in this thread: yes, I’m pretty sure the battling birdies are Green-winged Teal, as Trebuchet said. There weren’t any mergansers at the pond. I can see why some thought mergansers, though. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get you better birdie vids when I finally get a real video camera.

Hooded Mergansers on North Creek

4 thoughts on “Hooded Mergansers on North Creek

  1. 2

    There was a flock of them hanging out in the little pond in our apartment complex all winter. The ducks were less than thrilled, but I loved seeing them! They’re beautiful!

  2. 4

    Lovely! Among my favorites of duck-kind. Birdy-kind, for that matter! This is a good time of year for seeing a lot of non-resident species passing through on their way north. Buffleheads, for instance. So cute.

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