Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Am I?

I saw this animal on my final hike in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge a few weeks ago.  I already miss going there, but expect I will go back for old times sake at some point.  See if you can figure it out.

How’s this great clue for first clue luck?
I’ll tell you I’m a type of duck

But of the ducks there’re so many
Without more clues I could be any

So what kind of duck could I be?
You’ll find me in a group of three

By that I mean one of three kinds
Come on, think hard - use those sharp minds

It is quite clear from my hooked bill
I don’t eat plants; it’s fish I kill.

Upon my head I have a crest
With reddish band across my breast

Of course that more describes the male
My lady is a bit more pale

Fish eating duck? One of three types?
Come on and guess - let's earn those stripes!

and see if
you guessed
this duck!

I'm a red-breasted merganser
Did you get the correct answer?

When I first saw this dapper duck, he was on shore near a great blue heron that I was watching.  The heron's photo is on the original post about this final hike, noted at the top of this post.

Even though I posed no threat to his well-being, the merganser didn't know that, and quickly moved into the water.  I watched him for a while and took several more photos.  This one shows all the field marks one needs to identify a male red-breasted merganser.
I knew it was a merganser but was not sure which of the three kinds until I got home and looked him up in my field guide.  I was glad to see some wildlife on this last hike to Back Bay, which will always be a special place.

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