Field Notes
5:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Common Mergansers

Female (crest) and male (black head) common mergansers (Mergus merganser). Bioweb.uwlax (CC-BY-NC)
Credit Amanda Bales

7/13/14 & 7/14/14: This week on Fieldnotes: "Common Mergansers," written by Kristi Johnson, read by Allison De Jong.

"Water being their natural element, mergansers are often wary of trouble from land and sky. I noted this with frustration as I scrambled in vain for a good observation point that cloudless day. The moment the mergansers sensed my presence, they were off again into the water, always just ahead. Yet I watched in disbelief as they calmly rode the wake of a wave runner loaded with shouting kids, or swam nonchalantly alongside a puttering tour boat blaring pop tunes. Why, if they weren't frightened of these raucous contraptions, were they concerned with a solitary girl onshore with a notebook?"

Related Program