Date: 7/15/17 6:09 pm
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] Re: May 19, 2017 Fernhill Wetlands Red-breasted Merganser
Hi - 

I agree with your identification as female.  I have watched quite a few young male Red-breasted Mergs molt into more definitive plumage, and this date is very late for one to be in full imm. plumage.  The scruffiness overall suggests to me a first-cycle female.

On 7/15/2017 5:57:53 PM, Shawneen Finnegan <shawneenfinnegan...> wrote:
Following up on Dave Irons’s post this afternoon about Fernhill Wetlands merganser sightings, attached is the female Red-breasted Merganser I found on May 19 while doing weekly spring surveys for Audubon/Clean Water Services. I posted a message to OBOL about it that morning.

The reason I called this a female as opposed to an immature male is that imm males can look much like a female but will have some black surrounding their eyes, unlike this bird. There is also a pale line under the eye, another feature that would distinguish it from a young Hooded Merganser. The bill is longer and more orangey red than the latter.

Shawneen Finnegan
Beaverton, OR

Join us on Facebook!