April 20, 2010

Mergansers on the Stillaguamish

Since most of the farm lies along the banks of the Stillaguamish River, wildlife is abundant, especially birds.  In addition to the river itself, there are also a number of small ponds on the farm which provide a year-round home to many birds, as well as a temporary stopping place for a wide variety of migrating species.

Above we have three Common Mergansers, (or Mergus merganser, if you prefer).  According to the Cornell Orinthology website (http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/common_merganser/id), the females are distinguished by their shaggy, rusty brown heads, while the males, in breeding plumage, have sleek green and black necks with white bodies and black wings.  Yet another sign of Spring's arrival here on the farm. Thanks to Ed for the photo.   

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