Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus merganser) at Bolsa Chica
November 24, 2007
Photographs by Robert Harrington

While observing some Red-Breasted Mergansers at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve I noticed several engaging in behavior I'd never seen before: skimming vigorously with head mostly down for several seconds. See one sequence photographed at right and below. It kept going a second or two past the last photo in the sequence.
Update: Experts tell me that this is usual behavior for this species, associated with feeding. Their diet is fish.

5:09:17 PM

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

0.2 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

0.4 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

0.8 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

1.4 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

1.6 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

2.0 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

2.2 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

2.4 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

3.0 sec

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

Stretching its wings 15 seconds after beginning of sequence

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) (male)

Robert Harrington 2007 All rights reserved