"FIRST SPRING COMMON MERGANSER MALE"
Image taken at Sandy Pond, February 7, 2013
Sources of I.D. criteria:
1) National Geographic "Complete Birds of North America" has a drawing of a "First Spring Male Common Merganser" that resembles this bird.
2) "Allaboutbirds" has a drawing and this description for a
"First Spring Common Merganser Male ":
"The male first spring Common Merganser resembles the female but has a brown-chestnut head and neck, mottled-black-and-white chin patch and a black ring separating the chestnut neck from a white breast."
Left: Female Common Merganser
Right: First Spring Common Merganser male
Critical I.D. features!
1) Brown-chestnut head and neck
2) Chin Patch: MOTTLED, BLACK-AND WHITE
3) Black Ring separates chestnut neck from white breast
Composite image showing
(Left to right)
Common Mergansers: adult male, adult female, "First Spring" male.
February 14, 2013
A 2ND EXAMPLE OF A
"FIRST SPRING COMMON MERGANSER MALE!"
My study 'colony' of Common Mergansers have vacated Sandy Pond, on their way northward in migration.
Before they left, I captured a 2nd example
of a First Spring Common Merganser Male
1) Chestnut head in process of male color transition
2)Black ring separating chestnut head at white breast juncture
3) Mottled Black-and-White chin patch
My experience, looking in books and the internet, has revealed only 1 such photograph.
The bird we're following reveals its "Black-and-white mottled chin patch", and its black neck ring!
A "rollover" style image, (move your cursor over the image) shows:
1) the lack of black neck ring, then
2) shows it clearly when the bird stretches!
February 17, 2013
My third 1st Spring Common Merganser Male find, at Willow Pond, Murray, UT.
But with a serious problem!
It has a fishhook, along with a wad of some material lodged in its beak!
(The key I.D. for this male...
the black and white mottling of his chin patch.)
Another look at the "hooked" 1st Spring Male Merganser, still surviving after at least 3 weeks, now located at Mill-Race Pond in Taylorsville, UT.