We paddled to a quiet bay away from the main travel route to look for wildlife on a guided day canoe trip today on Lake One.
Luckily, we spied this Common Merganser and her ducklings. The young were probably born in a hollow tree – where Mergansers typically nest. The mother must have just recently nudged the furball ducklings out of the nest because they are still tiny creatures. Part of me expected to see a giant pike splash out of the water after one of them.
We saw no sign of the male merganser, which is not uncommon. Motherhood is a lonely job for these females. The males typically play no part in raising the ducklings.
We watched this Common Merganser dive down looking for minnows to catch in its orange serrated bill – often called a sawbill. It didn’t appear to succeed in hunting minnows, but it did successfully pluck a dragonfly nymph from a rock wall as it swam by.