Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Common Merganser, Northern Illinois Winter Visitor

A male Common Merganser taking flight at Nygren Wetlands Preserve, Rockton, IL; 3/19/11.

Common Mergansers are among the waterfowl that will spend its winters in the Northern Illinois Area, as attested by the (Above) at Nygren Wetlands Preserve, just a few miles north of Rockford, IL. In the summers they will migrate north into canada and Alaska, but can be found year round in both the Northeast and Northwest States, as well as the northern shores of the Great Lakes. Because the (Above) pic was taken in March, the male is already in its breeding plumage: White neck and secondary coverts contrasted greatly witha black head and primaries (wing tips) and a bright red bill and feet.  Its winter plumage is more lke the female (Below): drab grayish body, with a rusty head, but keeps the red bill and has white coverts and secondaries.

Two female Common Mergansers, Nygren wetlands reserve, Rockton, IL; 3/19/11.

1 comment:

Chesney said...

That second image where they are flying in unison is just outstanding! Gorgeous captures, as always!