One day early on, Julia, still perfecting her 'fowl identification, pointed to a small pod of common mergansers
, all of them engrossed in the act of decimating a population of gamefish in a roadside slough.
The pair numbers of the common merganser
correlated with the chick numbers with a lag of two years (N = 30, estimate = 1.41, P = 0.001; see Table 1 and Fig.
With much open water, waterfowl were plentiful: greater white-fronted goose, 1; pink-footed goose, 1 (new species for the count); snow goose, 1; Canada goose, 2,440; mute swan, 14; wood duck CW (seen during count week but not on count day); gadwall cw; American wigeon, 1; American black duck, 55; mallard, 786; northern pintail, 1; green-winged teal, 9; ring-necked duck, 28; greater scaup, 58; lesser scaup, 12 (new high); white-winged scoter, 1; bufflehead, 10; common goldeneye, 106; Barrow's goldeneye, 1; hooded merganser, 355 (new high); common merganser
, 96; American coot, 2; wild turkey, 226 (new high); common loon, 9; horned grebe, 4.
The deep water above the dam brings in common loon and horned, eared, western, Clark's and (rarely) red-necked grebes in migration, along with pied-billed grebe, American coot and common merganser
. To get there take Highway 20 east of Sweet home, then take 60th Avenue/Foster Dam Road north to North River Drive.
Several other species observed off the sites or at camp may breed in the study area: harlequin duck, common eider, common merganser
, glaucous gull, and arctic tern (Table 1).
Muscovy duck Cairina moschata Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Greater scaup Aythya marila Tufted duck Aythya fuligula Common merganser
Mergus merganser Smew Mergus albellus Falconiformes Common buzzard Buteo buteo Rough-legged hawk Buteo lagopus Peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus Galliformes Common peafowl Pavo cristatus Domestic chicken Gallus gallus Charadriiformes (herring gull) Larus argentatus Strigiformes (eagle owl) Bubo bubo Passeriformes (Eurasian magpie) Pica pica All birds No.
The Common Merganser
drake has a dark green head with no crest, a black back and white sides and belly.
Packard became outraged last winter after finding a drowned muskrat at Wachusett tangled in fishing line with the hook and rubber worm still attached and a dead female common merganser
entangled in line at the Quabbin Reservoir.
Worcester's 2012 count totaled an impressive 89 species, which were dominated by 1,741 Canada geese, 1,533 ring-billed gulls, 1,373 black capped chickadees, 1,162 crows, 1,108 juncos, 996 robins, 881 starlings, 829 mallards, 795 house sparrows, 437 common mergansers
, 401 goldfinches, 345 rock pigeons, 324 white-breasted nuthatches, 292 titmice, 274 hooded mergansers, 245 mourning doves, 236 blue jays, 196 cardinals, 196 house finches, 190 downy woodpeckers, 174 bluebirds, 138 greater scaup, 138 song sparrows, 135 redpolls, 118 common goldeneyes, 114 red-breasted nuthatches, and 100 black ducks.
Globally significant populations of waterfowl, such as canvasbacks, common mergansers
, common goldeneyes and other diving ducks, can also be seen here each winter.