Monday, July 27, 2009

Juvenile Grebe?

I wonder where this little guy came from - suddenly late last week there was a small, almost-duckling on the Cannon River near all the usual growing families of mallards and Canada geese. But this is not a duckling - its beak is noticeably sharper, and it's not nearly as fuzzy as a duckling of this size would be. The backlighting doesn't help much with the identification, but our best guess is that it is a young eared grebe. I like the two-headed effect of the reflection.
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Anonymous said...

I was going to say Grebe but then you said it first.
Abraham Lincoln

Dan Tallman said...

It looks more like a female or young Hooded Merganser to me, but I did not examine the photo carefully.

Penelope said...

Dan, you may well be right. The small size had me thinking grebe from the start, though. I've never seen a merganser in the barely-out-of-fuzz stage, which I am guessing it would have to be (if it could be at all) to be as small as this was but still smooth-feathered.