Tag Archives: Breeding Season

Male Hooded Mergansers, Then There Were Three

I was momentarily distracted by the Canada Goose With A Treasure while watching the two Hooded Merganser drakes show off. When I reverted my attention to the ducks I saw that a few more females and another male had joined the party.

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers

The three drakes performed tight circle maneuvers…

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers

… that ended with a spirited chase.

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers, Two Canada Geese looking on

The females lost interest and pretty soon they all casually swam to the other side of the pond, out of my view.

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers

Male Hooded Merganser Duo Showing Off, Female Interest

Continued fromĀ Male Hooded Merganser Duo Showing Off

The second female toward the back got a little fancier with her tail action and the first one fluffed her crown up, showing a bit more interest.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

The male-male competition got a little heated.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

Then the female flattened herself, keeping her head under water for a bit, presumably to express interest in the males’ dance. I’d not seen this behavior before, and at one point wondered how long she could stay submerged.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

They circled around her several times while the second female moved on.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

Male Hooded Merganser Duo Showing Off

Two Hooded Merganser drakes were showing off for a female, doing their best to strut their stuff.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

The female didn’t seem to be that interested, and much of the action was one male crowding the other out.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

Back and forth they went, in and out of reflections created by trees on the far side of the pond.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

A second female circled around a few times but she didn’t distract the drakes from the first female.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off, Two Females looking on

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC
February 20, 2021

Great Egret Showing Off

The Great Egrets really know how to show off when it comes to attracting a mate. The lores around their eyes turn a fabulous green and their feathery plumage is put to work, hoping to draw attention to themselves.

Great Egret Breeding Plumes
Great Egret Breeding Plumes

On this day last April it was late afternoon with the sun already below the trees when I came upon this show off. It was darker than I would like but the striped clouds and two Great Blue Heron chicks added to the scene.

Great Egret Breeding Plumes
Great Egret Breeding Plumes

April 13, 2019

Great Egret Flight

Even though we are seeing a lot of flower color around the swamp the trees are still mostly dull grey and brown. The island where this Great Egret took off has a few green palm trees which gave this flight shot some color.

Great Egret in Flight
Great Egret in Flight

As he flew over the open water the background wasn’t nearly as interesting so I edited it to be darker, giving a nice view of the Egret’s wing tips and layers.

Great Egret in Flight
Great Egret in Flight

As he approached his destination, a tree closer to the edge of the pond, the Egret started to pull up for landing.

Great Egret in Flight
Great Egret in Flight