Sunday, June 02, 2013

Merganser Chicks

Common Merganser Brood - Mergus Merganser

Common Mergansers live on the Elbow River year round and they commonly nest in the area I hike. Based on how often I see Merganser pairs when I hike, there are several likely nesting areas. On June 2, 2013 I spotted my first Merganser brood of the year. A mother emerged from Merganser Inlet with 9 chicks.
Common Mergansers are single brooded. Eggs are laid in a tree cavity, hole, or a cavity among boulders. There are 7 to 14 eggs laid on successive days. 
The eggs are incubated by the female alone for 28 to 32 days. Early in the season I saw mostly couples but for the last several weeks I have seem mostly collections of males or females. I presume the females in the groups were not successful this year.  
 The young stay in the nest for a day or two and then leave with Mom. 

The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Alberta. Federation of Alberta Naturalists. 2007.

Baicich PJ, Harrison CJO. Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds. Princeton UP. 2005.

Beadle D, Rising J. Sparrows of the United States and Canada. Princeton UP. 2003.

Fisher C, Acorn J. Birds of Alberta. Lone Pine Publishing. Edmonton. 1998.

Sibley David A. The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. Alfred A Knopf, Inc. New York. 2001.

Tudge Colin. The Bird. Crown Publishers. New York. 2008.

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