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Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)

…is a large species of sea duck native to the coasts of Alaska and Siberia. Like other sea ducks the spectacled eider dives for its meals which usually consist of molluscs and crustaceans. The spectacled eider like other eider species is sexually dimorphic as males sport a striking white, black and green coloration while females have a more modest chocolate brown coloration. During the breeding season eider pairs will move inland to tundras close to the sea to lay their young.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Anseriformes-Anatidae-Merginae-Somateria-fischeri

Image Source(s)

Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus)

…a Critically Endangered species of typical merganser (Mergus spp.) that is native to central-south Brazil and adjacent regions in Paraguay and Argentina. Like other mergansers M. octosetaceus is a predator and feeds mainly on fish, using its serrated bill to hold on to its slippery prey. Brazilian mergansers are also known to eat molluscs and insects as well. Brazilian mergansers typically feed in groups and will catch fish by diving. Brazilian mergansers are typically seen near rivers and streams with rapids and excess vegetation. 

Currently Mergus octosetaceus is listed as Critically Endangered. This is mostly due to the fact that they are very sensitive to habitat degradation and loss due to human actions. And as such silting of rivers is becoming a major threat to their survival. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Anseriformes-Anatidae-Merginae-Mergus-M. octosetaceus

Image: Prof. Sávio Freire Bruno

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Cold-weather Clown: Harlequin Duck

The Harlequin Duck borrows its name from the Italian comedic character, the harlequin, who wears brightly colored clothes. “Lords and Ladies” is another nickname, again because of the vivid coloration of the males. These ducks gives distinctly unduck-like squeaks when interacting, the source of yet another local name: Sea Mouse.

Although the male’s coloration is stunning, females and immature birds are more subdued, or cryptically colored, for protection against predators.

George Wallace, ABC’s Vice President of Oceans and Islands, remembers: “I saw these birds every day when I was a salmon fishing guide in Alaska. I was always amazed at the ability of these birds to literally outrun a skiff up a river running eight miles per hour. It’s really a lovely sight to see a female with a string of tiny fluff-ball chicks sprinting over the surface of water and then diving for cover under a fallen log.”

The eastern North American population was in decline but is slowly recovering. It is listed as threatened in Maine and is considered a species of special concern in Canada and the western United States.

This species is considered a “sea duck,” part of the duck, goose, and swan family, Anatidae. Harlequin Ducks are essentially marine birds outside the breeding season, with specialized adaptations for life on the ocean. With smooth, densely packed feathers that trap air—vital for insulation—they are well equipped for wet, cold environments. This insulation makes the ducks exceptionally buoyant, and they often resemble colorful little corks as they bounce to the surface after deep underwater dives. While underwater, they search for marine invertebrates, fish, and aquatic insects, their main foods.

The biggest threats to the Harlequin Duck include loss of habitat due to hydroelectric projects, logging, and mining, and direct mortality due to oil spills near coastal areas. Recreational use and other boat traffic on rivers can cause disturbance to nesting birds.

Dan Casey, ABC’s Coordinator for the Northern Rockies Bird Conservation Region, comments: “Breeding Harlequin Ducks here in Montana nest primarily at the headwaters of the Columbia River system, but some also nest on the upper reaches of streams east of the Continental Divide. These are probably some of the most inland breeders on the continent.”

Apie Mėnulį ir ramunes.

Būna gyvenime akimirkų, kuomet viskas negailestingai pasikeičia. Vos keletas žodelių praveria akis. Truputis tiesos, kurios galėtum neišgirsti.

Nes kartais reikia naivumo. To saldaus nežinojimo… Nes žinojimas pražudo žmones. Jie nebesidalins su tavimi šiltais šypsniais ir juoku. Galbūt norėtų, tačiau tu jau būsi per daug nutolusi. Vieni žmonės išeina, kiti ateina ar net sugrįžta. Bet tai skausminga. Ir tragiška, ak.

Mergina iš kosmoso šypsojosi Mėnuliui. Mergina iš kosmoso dievino lietų, tačiau niekada negalėjo jo pajusti. Mergina iš kosmoso nebuvo laiminga, bet niekam tai nerūpėjo. Ji buvo tik mergina iš kosmoso.

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