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Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Rainy, dreary morning, and chilly.  It's about 53 degrees and raining right now.  Last night we had some gentle rumbles and flashes of lightning, but nothing serious.  Things are greening up nicely and the trees are budding - we'll have black flies in no time.

Henretta Splain sent this picture of a Merganser bufflehead* family that's living in the cove by her house (Clubhouse Circle).  I thought it was the parents guarding the four chicks, but turns out it might be two females with the chicks.  I looked up their habits and found out the males are not active in raising the chicks.  Actually, the chicks are pretty independent except they are in constant danger from other larger birds and large fish like pike.   They can dive like loons, and can "run on water" which gives them some advantage over predators. The loons may not like having them around as their diets are similar, so they will be competing for food - and space.

Henretta let Eric Hansen of Vermont Wildlife know about them and it will be interesting what he has to say. 

*Henretta later sent another email saying she got a closer look at the ducks and believes them to be buffleheads.  Beats me - I definitely wouldn't know.  They do seem to be unusual in that they are raising a family here.

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