Red-breasted Merganser floating on the Gulf of Mexico

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, Red-breasted Mergansers/Red-breasted Merganser floating on the Gulf of Mexico

Red-breasted Merganser high on a waveRed-breasted Merganser high on a wave – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

I know that ducks aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but I happen to like them and a species of duck that I really like are Red-breasted Mergansers. They don’t have the typical “Donald Duck” bills, they have long, thin serrated bills that are used to catch and hold their prey.

I photographed this Red-breasted Merganser floating on the Gulf of Mexico on an April morning from the shoreline at Fort De Soto, Florida in April of 2008. The merganser had been actively fishing in the Gulf and then it seemed to rest and catch its breath while floating on top of the waves. It looked so peaceful riding the waves that I can remember that I felt peaceful too and thoroughly enjoyed the warm sun, wet sand and sunshine on my skin as I watched and photographed this bird.

Life is good. It is better with birds.



  1. Mia McPherson September 15, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Thank you all for your comments.

    Patty, your story made me laugh on a day when I didn’t think I could laugh, thank you.

    Pepe, I’m glad that you are inspired!

  2. Pepe Forte September 14, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I love ducks! All kinds. They should be on everyone’s bird watching dance card. I get requests to illustrate them all the time and they are a lot of fun to paint. However, I have never done a red-breasted Merganser before. Now, thanks to you, Mia, I have new inspiration.

    As always, your shots are wonderful.

  3. Elephant's Child September 14, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you.

  4. Patty Chadwick September 14, 2016 at 8:14 am

    This is a very cute duck! Love the color and patterns of the water. I love ducks partly because we had some, but also because they are so harmless to other creatures. They’re always smiling, walk funny, sound like they’re laughing and have such a cute way of waggling their butts….they always make me smile. I was rescuing a young girl from a dangerous situation, driving her west in my husband’s new maxivan–discovered she liked ducks, too. We saw a beautiful park and, in the distance, a pond with ducks. Leading to it was a narrow paved road. As we were driving to the pond, we noticed somecwomen with bags of golf cllubs, watching us, their mouths hanging open…we were on a golf course!

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