Hi Sheila,

Yes, Red-breasted Mergs are migrants and breed much farther north of us here. 
Common Mergansers breed here commonly! It is a bit hard to tell the females 
apart, but female Red-breasteds are much more slender (Sibley says more 
"spindly) with thin bills, and more wispy crests. They also lack the Common 
female's whitish throat. Commons are much heavier bodied birds, with thicker 


Marie Read Wildlife Photography
452 Ringwood Road
Freeville NY  13068 USA

Phone  607-539-6608
e-mail   m...@cornell.edu

Website:     http://www.marieread.com
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From: bounce-121534501-5851...@list.cornell.edu 
[bounce-121534501-5851...@list.cornell.edu] on behalf of Sheila Ann Dean 
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2017 1:25 PM
Subject: [cayugabirds-l] Question on merganser

Yesterday at Monkey Run I saw a merganser with babies on her back. She sure 
looked like a red-throated, but aren't they migrants? Perhaps she was too low 
in the water to see the white, but she also had quite a crest. Unfortunately I 
startled her, and she seemed to not be able to swim away fast enough with her 
baby burden, so she dumped them, took off at a brisk clip, tsk, tsk, tsking for 
her brood to follow. They would all catch up, climb back on, and then she 
dumped them again to swim farther. This went on several times until it seemed 
she felt they'd escaped danger.

I also saw a scarlet tanager, and heard a white-throated sparrow on the upland 
part of the trail (south side of Fall Creek). Near the water saw an American 
redstart, a Blackburnian warbler, rose-breasted grosbeak, Canada geese. And 
distant hawk, blue jay, and goldfinches. I'm sure there was tons more there, 
but I'm a beginner, and had to get back to work.


Sheila Ann Dean
Natural Selection Editing and Research
1415 Slaterville Road (temporary)
Ithaca, NY 14850


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