The Merganzer Duck

I first saw this unusual duck for the first time about two years ago. A pair spent about two weeks right out in the Oxbow Lake  and close to my dock. What I noticed first was they were there one second and gone the next. Where?

Once I’d figured out they weren’t our ordinary Mallard, (it’s sometimes difficult to see them clearly as the light is often wrong and I only see a silhouette), I got out my Audubon Bird Book and plowed through it. It took a while to find the entry because I couldn’t see the colors, and they kept disappearing. A blink and they were gone!  Then I saw one appear suddenly; the little rascal was a diving duck! That narrowed the field considerably.


The female is, I think, prettier than the male as you can see below. These pictures from


The first  year I spotted these ducks, there was only one pair, but last year we enjoyed watching two pairs fishing at the same time. It’s fun wondering where they’ll surface after a dive.

More information on Merganzer Ducks can be found here.



Author: Mike Caswell

I live in Fairport, and my home is at The Oxbow section of The Erie Canal. I fish, have a pontoon boat and like messing in boats. (see I'm retired and enjoy every day living here with my two dogs.

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