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Merganser Mojo

Gregg Thompson found a Red-breasted Merganser in gorgeous breeding plumage at Edmonds Marina north of Seattle. This male was making all the traditional courtship moves. We hope there was a receptive lady around to appreciate his skill and beauty.

Our guy is getting ready: his crest is lowered.

Now for the salute, he stretches his neck wth crest still down.

This is called the curtsy — quite a nice move seen from the front . . .

. . . and even from behind.

He looks a little puffed up with a very stimulated, spiky crest for his finishing moves.

Here's a helpful diagram from the Handbook of Waterfowl Behaviour by Dr. Paul Johnsgard (page 310).

The Handbook of Waterfowl Behaviour has excellent information about many common waterfowl.
It is available online in the digital commons of the University of Nebraska. Find the link below in Related Resources.

All photos are © Gregg Thompson and may not be used without permission.

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