Blending In

Blended families are not only found among people. This family of Wood Ducks has a surprise duo of Hooded Mergansers.

Mother woody didn’t just pick them up on the water, she hatched them in her nest along with her own brood. Both species of ducks nest in tree holes. There is no way to know who was in the nest first but regardless, the Wood Duck ended up with some bonus chicks to tend to.

The odd thing is that each species has different food requirements. Wood Ducks eat plants, mainly aquatic varieties, while Hooded Mergansers eat fish, frogs, crayfish and other delicacies. Fortunately, the mergansers are hard-wired to search for protein meals while the Wood Ducks go after the plants.

Happy Summer Birding!

Brian Morin

Publisher of Ontario Birding News

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