By Derek Stoner, Conservation Project Coordinator
Not only have Wood Ducks provided an interesting show along the Red Clay Creek recently, but there is also another display being made by waterfowl visiting the Red Clay Valley.
Because mergansers spend so much time in pursuit of finned prey, they have feet that are mounted closer to their tail than the average duck, in order to maximize propulsion while underwater. Like feathered skin divers, these birds chase after native fish like Black-nosed Dace, Creek Chubs, and Satinfin Shiners in the Red Clay Creek. When mergansers decide to fly, they take a “running start” across the water and use their narrow wings to help them to slowly launch from the water.
Keep an eye out on local waterways these next couple weeks for the colorful Common Merganser: a unique tree-nesting, fish-eating duck of the Far North!