The Same Challenge

When photographing birds it’s always fun to catch them in a cute pose but it’s especially gratifying when they’re captured engaged in an activity that tells you something about how they “make a living”. The day to day task of survival.

Along the Scioto River Hooded Mergansers seemingly parade past a Great Blue Heron.

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A day or so after the “parade” we noticed the mergansers repeatedly diving in search of food. It wasn’t long before we saw what they were after. Clearer than normal water was undoubtedly contributed to the their success.

Female and male Hooded Mergansers, (Donna).

The female finds a fish. Hooded Mergansers eat small fish, aquatic insects, crustaceans (especially crayfish), amphibians, vegetation, and mollusks—their diet is broader than in other mergansers, which eat fish almost exclusively. (Donna).

The male also finds a fish.

The female takes notice but the male is in no mood to share.

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Other items were also on the menu.

The male finds a crayfish.

The wrestling match begins.

“This things got pinchers”.

Almost down the hatch.

Not bad!

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It helps if you enjoy just being in nature, appreciating what ever it has to offer, because on any particular day not much may be seen that would be considered out of the ordinary. In that context, when something special does occur we find ourselves enchanted, witnessing in real time something most folks rarely get to see. Humans undoubtedly reflect on it more, but on this ever smaller planet, whether one is a bird or a human, we are part of the same community and embrace a similar daily challenge. However, humans are unique because, unlike other living things, the pursuit of our immediate needs, comforts, and desires has the potential to threaten our the long term survival as well as that of the “merganser”.

Along the Scioto River. 

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Thanks for stopping by.

3 Comments on “The Same Challenge

  1. Fascinating and I must say that I haven’t thought too much about the specifics of what these beauties were eating — what a treat to see with such clarity what their diet consists of….and the very real challenges of getting it all “down the hatch!” Couldn’t agree more with the conundrum of humans being so short-term focused. If we are to be true stewards of this planet — or, at the very least, responsible inhabitants — we MUST learn to recognize and appreciate the long-term effects of our daily decisions.

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