Sunday, November 21, 2010

Red-breasted Merganser

A female Red-breasted Merganser just emerged from a dive, Lincoln Park, Chicago: 10/30/10.
As promised, the third of four additions to my life list also came from our late October visit to Lincoln Park, Chicago. We saw a couple of female Red-breasted Mergansers floating and diving in the pond just south of the Lincoln Park Zoo. Unlike the Hooded Merganser which will spend the entire year hear (11/20 Post), the Red-breasted Merganser is more likely to be passing through while on its southern migration from its summer home in Northern Canada (also the shores of Lake Superior) to its winter home along the Atlantic Coast and south to the Gulf Coasts of Louisiana, Texas, and Florida.  As much as I searched, I couldn't locate a male Red-breasted Merganser which sports a dark head and of course a red breast.  The female Red-breasted is very similar to the female Common Merganser, but is distinguishable with a color contrast from the darker brownish top of the head with the pale reddish cheek and neck; whereas the Common's head is mostly all one brownish red color. The Red-breasted's bill is more slender and not as deep red as the Common's. I thought I'd post a photo of a Common Merganser to show the contrast, but, alas, my photos of the Common Merganser were too gray and didn't show the colors very well.

Two more pics of a female Red-breasted Merganser, Lincoln Park, Chicago: 10/30/10.

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving, I plan on four posts (Thur - Sun) to show off my pics of four other birds observed during our Chicago Lincoln Park and Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary visit.

No comments: