Friday’s Feathered Friends- Red-breasted Merganser Male

Copyright ©2021 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Late in January, I heard there was a Red-necked Grebe in Lake Tahoe and it’s a bird I’ve never seen so wanting to get out of the house between storms He-Man and I drove over there for a walk-about and see what we could see. No grebe anywhere, but I did see a small group of Common Mergansers, and one that didn’t look quite like the others, but looked like a Merganser. I made some images and when I got home uploaded the images and discovered to my delight the one in the group that was a little different was a Red-breasted Merganser Male. A new bird for me, and Lifer number one for 2021!

They weren’t doing much of anything when I saw the group. I think it was a bit early and they were still waking up. 😀

Male Red-breasted Merganser Lake Tahoe 2021

Fun facts about them gleaned from my favorite source allaboutbirds.org

  • The Red-breasted Merganser breeds farther north and winters farther south than the other American mergansers.
  • Red-breasted Mergansers don’t acquire breeding plumage until they are 2 years old.
  • Red-breasted Mergansers need to eat 15 to 20 fish per day, which researchers suggest means they need to dive underwater 250–300 times per day or forage for 4–5 hours to meet their energy needs.
  • The oldest recorded Red-breasted Merganser was a female, and at least 9 years, 6 months old when she was shot in Alaska, the same state where she had been banded.

That’s a lot of diving and foraging isn’t it!

I hope you all a lovely week-end!

Panasonic Lumix FZ200| PS CC 22.3.0

more to come…

The Stare Down

Copyright © 2015 Deborah M. Zajac  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

A group of photographers got together last week for our annual trek to Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge.  It was dreary day with fog, and clouds all day. The light was flat, flat, flat. Thankfully there was a nice variety of birds on the ponds.

The first time around the auto-route there was Bald Eagle high up in it’s favorite tree. I call this tree the “Eagle Tree” because there’s been an Eagle perched in it the last 3 years I’ve been there.  I wonder if this is the Juvenile Bald Eagle I’ve seen in years past grown up with an all white head now? Aren’t they majestic!

Bald Eagle

Later in the day high in the Eucalyptus trees there was a juvenile Bald Eagle surveying the land and ponds,

Bald Eagle-JuvenileThere was a spot of color on this dreary day…

A spot of color on a dreary day…The Trio

Trio

These Snow Geese were the only ones we saw up on the bank. I think one had an injured wing and the other two were keeping it company.

Nikon D700| AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4 w/AF-S 14eII TC| Hand-held| Lexar Professional High Speed Film| CS6

More to come…