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.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus serrator

Large diving duck
Slender and long bodied
Long, thin, orange bill
Red eyes
Shaggy crest at back of head

   Black and white back
   Gray sides
   Reddish-brown, mottled breast
   Green head
   White collar

   Gray body
   Reddish-brown head

Listen to its call.

These are more of the ducks I saw at Esquimalt Lagoon yesterday. The males, with their bright white collars and orange bills, were really quite striking.  The females, however, were even plainer than usual. What is it with these men always having to be the center of attention?

Learn more about the Red-breasted Merganser.

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