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Mar 7, 2015

Mergansers ready to migrate

Photos by Dave Kemp
 Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator (male above) ~ (female below)
This photo of a pair of male and female Red-breasted Mergansers, photographed by British Columbia photographer Dave Kemp, was taken offshore from the lower B.C. mainland. Early mild weather in western coastal Canada means these birds will likely be heading inland much earlier than normal for the breeding season.   To me, this species of duck is one that presents an interesting contrast in its appearance.   It's overall shape and length, plus its long thin bill gives it a streamlined and exciting profile, while its jagged, untidy and uneven head crest makes it look a bit comical.   Dave's sidelong portraits of this duo are great shots that make these ducks quite eye-catching.   The Red-breasted Merganser is the only one of the three north-american mergansers that is commonly found on salt winter, on either the Pacific or Atlantic coasts.
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