There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Hooded Merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus

Small duck
Crest at back of head
Long, narrow bill
  • White crest with black border
  • Black head, back and tail
  • White chest and belly
  • Reddish-brown flanks
  • Yellow eyes
  • Reddish-brown, bushy crest
  • Grayish-brown head and body
  • Small white patch on chin
  • White belly
  • Brown eyes 
Listen to its call.

I've been having difficulty getting close enough to these ducks to get a photo of them at a good angle. They always seem to turn away just at the last minute. These pictures were taken on different days. The one of the female is from a trip to Cattle Point a few weeks ago. The one of the male were taken yesterday at Blenkinsop Lake. Neither photo is spectacular but at least they give you a sense of what these birds look like.

Learn more about the Hooded Merganser.

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