Swimming in the Seagull River humans and Hooded Mergansers

Hooded mergansers on seagull riverI posted a couple photos the other day of my niece and son taking a quick dip into the icy water of the Seagull River. I decided to share the video with you and a photo of the most recent swimmers I saw.

There were four ducks swimming in front of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters in the narrow channel of open water.  I scared them off when I attempted to get a picture of them so the only photo I have is blurry.  I had to look online to find the difference between Hooded Mergansers and Buffleheads because I usually mis-identify them! These are hooded mergansers as explained on this birding website I found.

 When I first started birding I too had trouble sorting out Buffleheads and Hooded Mergansers. They are both small ducks with disproportionately large heads and white patches on the sides of those jumbo heads. From a distance they look similar, but if you look more carefully you’ll notice the two birds are quite different. The sides of a Bufflehead drake’s body are bright white. The sides of a male Hooded Merganser’s body are coffee-brown, looking like it just returned from a week at Club Med. The females of both ducks have dusky bodies, but the female bufflehead has a rounded head, while the elongated head of the hen hoodie has a swept-back look, as if she had blow-dried her hair with a jet engine.


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