[Tweeters] Weird duck

Marc Hoffman tweeters at dartfrogmedia.com
Thu Oct 10 13:19:10 PDT 2013


Connie,

I may have told you about a male Hooded Merganser and a female Wood
Duck that seemed to have established a bond. I observed them a couple
of years ago for a period of at least several weeks at the Arboretum.
The Merganser was solo among a group of Wood Ducks. The female
appeared to be attracted to him, and he made a show of keeping the
male Wood Ducks at bay, as it were.

The beach at Marina Park in downtown Kirkland is now dominated by the
sort of Mallard hybrid you describe in your 3rd paragraph.

Marc Hoffman
Kirkland, WA
tweeters "at" dartfrogmedia "dot" com
www.SongbirdPhoto.com


At 12:46 PM 10/10/2013, Connie Sidles wrote:

>Hey tweets, a strange-looking duck has been floating around on Main

>Pond at the Fill for several days now. It's clearly a juvenile, so I

>keep hoping it will turn into something recognizable, but so far, no

>luck. It looks like a hybrid between a Hooded Merganser and a Horned

>Grebe (winter plumage): pale face, dark crown, with a heavy black

>stripe going down the nape of its neck.

>

>I vaguely remember (at this stage of life, every memory is a little

>on the vague side) somebody telling me about a known mixed couple

>somewhere, and I think the mixture was Wood Duck and Hooded

>Merganser. Not sure, though.

>

>I have to confess I've never been very interested in the hybrids,

>but in case any of you are, there is also a dark brown Mallard with

>a white throat that got its genes into the pool some years ago and

>now produces some oddities too. I always thought it was just a

>domestic/Mallard mix, with the domestic descended from original

>Mallards. But I think you'd have to be a real duck fancier to tell

>for sure. I fancy ducks as much as anyone, but I prefer the ones

>untouched by human hand.

>

>Other sights today: A gorgeous male Northern Harrier, gleaming

>silver-gray in the pale sunlight today as it floated by at

>head-height and turned its owl-like face to me for just a moment.

>Ah, what a moment.

>

>Pacific Wrens are back, as are the wigeons and Ring-necked Ducks,

>and also the kinglets. It's good to welcome the ducks as we say

>goodbye to the swallows, don't you think? - Connie, Seattle

>

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