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? 


video

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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!!

3 comments:

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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