Mergansers under cedars
Almost all mergansers on the lake are females. They mate in early spring with the the males who then take off for the duration. The females are very chummy among themselves and not particularly territorial. Sometimes a mother dies, or is eaten by a pike. Then, like good Samaritans, another female, with her own brood to take care of, will adopt the orphans. I actually have a photograph with 61 chicks. Talk about running an orphanage.
This photograph was taken in the Southwest Arm, about a mile from our cabin. In the last five years, I have been seeing fewer and fewer mergansers. It has gone from easy to almost impossible to photograph a family.
— Jack Goodman
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