May 20, 2014

Duck Duck Goose?

How skilled are you at identifying waterfowl?  Here's a challenge: 

Spring in Vermont can be cold.  It's May, but last night it was CHIL-LAY, so when we got home from work Champ went to light a fire in the woodstove.  He found a surprise...

We've had bats in the chimney before, but never a bird.  A bird!  The household rallied around Champ to get it safely out of where it was hunkered down in the woodstove (it hadn't been there more than a day).

As Champ released it, the dazed, but healthy bird immediately flew toward our pond and landed on the water.  Does that make it a duck?  We think so, but we don't recognize it.  I checked in with a great New England birding resource, but in the meantime do you have any guesses? 

edited to add: Apparently I have quite a few birders following this blog!  Thanks to all of you for your identification of our mystery duck.  As was our house guess-and many of yours (you smarty pants!)- the official answer is: it was a female hooded merganser.  A very, very sooty one.  Special thanks to Chris Bosak of Birds of New England for helping me to identify our feathered friend!!


Leslie said...

based on the shape of his beak and that little tuft of feather on the back of his head i would guess that it is a merganser....hooded, maybe common. my family accuses me of being a bird nerd!

smalltownme said...

I'm glad he was rescued!

T.J. said...

We were grateful that she wasn't injured. Made for a good story, and a great birding experience for us all (well, maybe not miss merganser, but for us humans it was pretty cool to get such a close-up)!

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