Red-breasted Mergansers visit the local lake each spring around the time of the perch spawn. I really cannot say unequivocally that they are feeding on perch spawn but all indications point that they are.
I find the mergansers spending much of their time in water where the spawn is visible. Much of their time is spent swimming with their eyes underwater and frequently diving.
In this photograph a pair of hens scans the bottom while the male keeps an eye on my nearby boat.
As I slowly drew even nearer the male gave me his undivided attention
Breaching their comfort zone the mergansers took flight, relocating to a different part of the lake and continued their feeding.
This spring has provided me with some outstanding waterfowl photography and one disappointment; the disappointment being the absence of the Buffleheads. In previous years I had grown accustomed to encountering flocks of buffleheads frequently during the same time period as the red-breasted mergansers but this year I have observed only one lone bufflehead hen. I have no explanation for the absence of the buffleheads but I do hope in coming years to see the colorful little divers return.
For more Critters of all Kinds
Visit our friend Misty’s
Camera Critters Blog