I was out for a walk at Carburn Park and was very surprised to see a pair of Hooded Mergansers. I stopped to watch and found several more amongst the mass of birds swimming in the lake. These birds are very rare for Calgary and they really only stop here during the spring and fall migration, so it was pretty cool to see them today!
Most people that I talk to in Calgary know about the Pelicans that live on the Bow River, but many of them have no idea that there are some other common residents on the river too. For example there are always Cormorants swimming in the churned up water below the weir alongside the Pelicans. These beautiful birds are incredible swimmers and they often disappear below the surface for minutes at a time. You’ll never know when or where they might come back to the surface.
Weird fact: Cormorants don’t have water repellent plumage as most other ducks and water birds do, so they must dry their wings after going for a swim or a bath… They can often be spotted perched on the wall at the East end of the Bow River Weir with their wings spread wide to dry in the breeze.
Many species of ducks can also be commonly spotted in the churn below the weir. Mergansers are very common, however they are normally quite elusive. It was very fun to see this juvenile bird completely oblivious to the people nearby as it splashed and hunted for minnows in the shallow waters near the shore.