Friday, March 5, 2010

Frog ducks - Friday's fascinations, facts and folklore

We have regular ducks coming to our pond at the moment.  The most frequent are some Hooded Mergansers who are here every day.  Both male and female Hooded Mergansers have a crest at the back of their head - the "hood" - but the males' is stunning with the sharp black and white contrast.

Photo courtesy of John White

Yesterday, four females were all spending some time together on our little duck float.  Wonder what was going through their heads???

It was a mallard in the duck float last year that inspired my duck float ring:

One of the things I love best about Hooded Mergansers, apart their handsome crests, is the sound of their call.  They are often referred to as "frog ducks" because of this call - which can be heard half a mile away.

I tried to find a sound snippet to embed here so you could hear it - but instead you'll have to click on this hooded merganser call link and listen to the frog duck!   Once you've heard it, you'll not forget it!

They seem to hang out in our pond quite happily with some mallards at the moment....but they are renown for enjoying the company of wood ducks, so I'm hoping some of those will join them soon too.

Do you have any new spring visitors?


My Computer Tutor said...

What a weird noise! Thank you.

Always keen to hear about you and your birds at Birdland.

Ruth said...

Commenting on the altos again or just the merganser call? :=D