Merganser visit

A pair of hooded mergansers were here this morning. The female stayed on top of the nest box for almost an hour and looked in often. A hooded merganser will sometimes lay eggs in a wood duck nest (and vice versa, more on that is here) and she was considering it. But whenever the merganser bent down from the edge of the roof to look in she was greeted by an open bill and hissing from the wood duck inside and she never tried to enter. During this time the male merganser waited in the creek. The male ducks stay close to their partner while the hen is laying both for mating and to fend off other males but after that they aren’t around and have no role in caring for the ducklings.

Female Hooded Merganser
A female wood duck also looked in while the merganser on the roof expressed an opinion about that. Both were put off by the open bill and hissing of the hen who is incubating inside.
The waiting male hooded merganser had his hood up: it’s a crest of feathers.
Eventually the female flew back down to the creek and swam off with her mate.

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