Love is in the air

by John Briggs on March 10, 2009

in Bird Photographs, Blog

A quick visit to Reid State Park this morning made for a great time watching Red-breasted Mergansers in their annual bid to secure a mate. Toddler’s Lagoon held 30 male Red-breasted Merganser and 33 females. Displaying males chasing after the females and running off other males kept me in the area much longer than I intended.

Racing across the waters surface, a pair of males would come together with chests raised. With water flying everywhere, one of the males begins a chase with bill wide open. Once the other male is ran out of the area, the winner stretches its neck and raises it rear bobbing in the water as if showing off. No longer had this battle ended, 2 or 3 more were taking place in other areas of the lagoon.

Males would run along side females and have a sort of sword fight with their bills. The female grunts and squawks at the male as if telling him “not now!” Then the displaying begins all over again.

Much of the activity was quite a distance from where I stood on the bridge, but I got a few photos of some of the action. Please forgive the tight crops, not my best work but I think not to bad for the distance I had to overcome.

Click thumbnails for larger view.

    

Male Red-breasted Merganser with chest out and head back in mating display.

Male Red-breasted Merganser, chest out and head back in mating display.

Male Red-breasted Merganser

Male Red-breasted Merganser looking for that beautiful female

 

Male and female Red-breasted Merganser

Male and female Red-breasted Merganser

Male and female Red-breasted Merganser

Male and female Red-breasted Merganser

 

Male and female Red-breasted Merganser

Male and female Red-breasted Merganser

Male Red-breasted Mergansers - The chase is on!

Male Red-breasted Mergansers - The chase is on!

 

Male Red-breasted Mergansers - The chase is on!

Male Red-breasted Mergansers - The chase is on!

Happy birding!

 

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