Two male Common Mergansers battling it out…


ISO 800 / 300mm / f/5.6 / 1/640

As I indicated in yesterday’s post, I had the good fortune of being able to follow a pair of Common Mergansers (Grand harle / Mergus merganser) up North Vancouver’s Mackay Creek in the Lower Mackay Creek Park sector. I knew something interesting was going to happen when I saw that the pair I was following would meet up with another pair going downstream (merganser can be quite agressive, in spite of their stately appearance).

As it ends up, I was right! As the photo above demonstrates, the males were not pleased to see each other. And the photo below seems to indicate, one of the males was prepared to go quite far to make his point. In the last shot, you can see one of the males celebrating his victory in front of his mate (or perhaps he was simply happy to survive, since the fighting was so confusing that I lost track of who was who).

All three photos taken on March 22, 2015 with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED. Not baited, called in or set up.


800 ISO / 300mm / f/5.6 / 1/640


800 ISO / 300mm / f/5.6 / 1/800


2 thoughts on “Two male Common Mergansers battling it out…

    1. Yes it was. I have generally found that luck (combined with hours of observation, of course) is the best way to get good bird photos. This is also the guiding philosophy of many of my favourite wildlife photographers.

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