Red-Breasted Extravaganser

Red-Breasted Merganser

Red-Breasted Merganser

I went a different route at lunch yesterday, after realizing halfway to the park I’d forgotten the peanuts (can’t go out empty-handed). So after walking back to work to fetch my bag and start out again, I decided to try the Chicago River riverwalk to see how it’s faring, because Millennium Park soon will be too crowded and too crazy to visit every day, come warmer weather and passerine migration.

Not a lot to see yet on the way out to the lakefront, save the tile artwork inside the underpass that goes beneath Lake Shore Drive,

Chicago River underpass art IMG_3574_1Chicago River underpass IMG_3576_1

but when I got down to the harbor, there were Red-Breasted Mergansers everywhere.

RB Mergs 'IMG_3589_1

There may have been a couple Coots, but it was otherwise Red-Breasted Merganserland.  Except for people walking in the other direction which sometimes spooked the Mergansers,

RB Mergs IMG_3671_1

I got close enough for some nice shots which is always lucky with the smaller lens and the 40D (my workday gear).

RB Mergs IMG_3621_1

The female Red-Breasted Merganser below struggled quite a bit with her catch, until finally it was down the hatch.

RB Merg IMG_3655_1

RB Merg IMG_3656_1

RB Merg IMG_3658_1

RB Merg IMG_3660_1

RB Merg IMG_3668_1

On the way back, past Millennium’s north sculpture garden, I got a preview of the new exhibit.  Colorful. Don’t know how the migrants will like it…

Sculpture Garden IMG_3702_1

but it should attract a lot of people.

12 thoughts on “Red-Breasted Extravaganser

  1. Nice series of Red-breasted Merganzer images, Lisa. I love the merganzers, both these and the Hooded. I love your action shots of the one that is trying to eat that fish.

    • Thanks! Maybe I should start carrying a camera that shoots videos…although I kind of like the hit-or-miss in capturing stills. Plus I can only do one thing at a time… 🙂

      • What is it about watching birds eat? It’s always so cute, even when they are devouring another creature alive… I’ve had the same thought about video.

      • Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they’re so focused on eating they’re a bit more unflappable? Or the fact that we can observe them doing something for longer than a few seconds before they take off. I know, I must have just shot my 100,000th photo of a crow eating a peanut on a tree limb…

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