Winter Ducks I

A visit to Gloucester Massachusetts was rewarded by sightings of several of our winter ducks. Many types of ducks breed further north and then winter along the coast where there is less ice to deal with.

It is easy to see where the Common Goldeneye gets its name. We spotted them close to shore and on unfrozen inland waterways. The male has a black and white body with a green head. The female has a brown-gray body with a brown head. Both have those golden eyes.

Red-breasted Mergansers frequent the shore and inlets. This photograph shows the reddish brown breast and green head with a frizzy crest. The long beak has serrated edges for catching and holding fish.

These two males flew past with one of them vocalizing. They looped back for another pass before landing.

Female Red-breasted Mergansers have brown heads and lack the white throat and prominent breast color of the male. This one has her crest down while flying but females also have a crest.

More ducks coming in the next post.

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