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October 31, 2014

Hooded Merganser Naps on Sapsucker Woods Pond

“Hooded” is something of an understatement for this extravagantly crested little duck. Adult males are a sight to behold, with sharp black-and-white patterns set off by chestnut flanks. Females get their own distinctive elegance from their cinnamon crest. Hooded Mergansers are fairly common on small ponds and rivers, where they dive for fish, crayfish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills. They nest in tree cavities; the ducklings depart with a bold leap to the forest floor when only one day old. 

October 30, 2014

Gross of Evening Grosbeaks

Although they are songbirds by lineage, Evening Grosbeaks do not have regular songs. They may rarely give short, uneven warbles. In this clip we hear sweet, piercing calls and burry chirps. 

October 30, 2014

Diving Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers find their prey underwater by sight. They can actually change the refractive properties of their eyes to improve their underwater vision. In addition, they have an extra eyelid, called a “nictitating membrane,” which is transparent and helps protect the eye during swimming, like a pair of goggles. 

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