Alas, this poor outdoor girl was forced to work in an office today. It was a good winter day to go duck hunting, but my weapon of choice, a Canon 5D Mark III and the ‘baby” the 500mm F/4 L lens had to stay at home. Believe me, I was dragged kicking and screaming into the building.
Getting back home late afternoon, something white caught my eye on the river. Grabbing my always ready binoculars, I saw several Hooded Mergansers by the dock. Now I love Hoodies. They are one of the coolest little ducks that can be found overwintering on the Chesapeake Bay.
So I rushed (carefully) down to the water, using trees and brush to hide my approach. It didn’t take much for them to notice me coming. See, Hoodies are also quite shy as a duck and I could see the boy go on alert. The first few shots I captured was the usual duck images I usually get. Duck butt.
One of the things I love best about the Hoodies is that the girl is one bossy duck. She is always ahead of the male which is faithfully following behind. I’ve also watched a female duck swimming behind a boy, squawking her head off. Nag, Nag, Nag.
The male Hooded Merganser really has fascinating markings, and fluffs up the crown on his head when he’s trying to get a girl’s attention, or to call an alert. While we mostly only see these ducks during the winter, they are known to live in the Mid-Atlantic region year round. Strangely enough, this is yet another duck that likes to nest in trees. Somehow, webbed feet and nests in trees just doesn’t make sense to me.
There were six hoodies on the river when I got on the dock. Three went this-a-way, the others went that-a-way.
As the light began to dwindle even more, I sat there in hopes that the hoodies would come back. A pair of Great Blue Herons came rushing to the shore. One bullying the other to find a better landing spot.
It wasn’t the most ideal duck hunting that I wanted to do today, but hey – I’ll take it. Any day with the Hoodies is a good day. Hope you had a good day too.