Red Breasted Merganser

RBM_902314756

Looking fine as can be in his breeding plumage a male Red-Breasted Merganser swims quietly along in the cattails confidant he will attract a mate.

“Courting males salute a female with head held high and then curtsy to the female by tipping up and putting their rear in the air with bill held high. In response to the male’s gesture, the female often jabs him with her bill. Courting males also shake their head side to side to get the attention of a female. Once the female accepts the male she stretches her neck out while holding her bill down and then lowers her neck again in a bobbing motion. They form a monogamous bond for the breeding season, but the male takes off at the beginning of incubation, leaving the female to tend the young alone. Males head to secluded waters to molt their feathers before migrating south while females tend to molt near the breeding site.”  1

References:
1. The Cornell Laboratory of Orinthology, All about birds Website, https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-breasted_Merganser/lifehistory

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