[Bristol-Birds] Hooded Merganser with [young] at Joachim Bible Refuge (Greene Co., TN)

  • From: "Wallace Coffey" <jwcoffey@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <butternuts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <TN-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Apr 2012 19:46:49 -0400

 Hey Don Miller and all,

 I pulled the trigger a little quick calling the young Hooded Mergansers 
 Obviously from your report, they were not in a NEST.  Sorry about that.

 Wallace Coffey
 Bristol, TN

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Wallace Coffey 
  To: butternuts@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ; TN-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ; 
  Sent: April 08, 2012 07:41
  Subject: [butternuts] Hooded Merganser with nestlings at Joachim Bible Refuge 
(Greene Co., TN)


    Hi Don Miller,

    A female Hooded Merganser with young,   An excellent find!  Good posting 
   great detail.  Ya never know what is out there until you go look.  I don't 
know if there
   has been any other breeding of this species in East Tennessee other than 
   around Chattanooga.  Thank you !

   Wallace Coffey
   Bristol, TN

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Alice Loftin / Don Miller 
    To: TN-bird@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ; bristol-birds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ; 
    Sent: April 08, 2012 07:27
    Subject: [butternuts] Nesting success at Joachim Bible Refuge (Greene Co., 


    April 8, 2012

    Greene County: Joachim Bible Refuge unit of Lick Creek Bottoms Wildlife 
Management Area (JBR)

    I visited JBR this afternoon for a couple of hours, fortuitously meeting 
Eric Bodker, a birder from Knoxville.  

    Eric had been at the refuge since late morning and had located some 
shorebirds, waterfowl, and a mated pair of Barn Owls with two accompanying 
downy young. He and I also viewed the owls together shortly after I arrived. 
They were present in the large barn bey ond the gate at the end of Matthews 
Lane (the western entrance to the refuge).  

    After Eric and I observed the owls, we walked from the barn to the far 
western border of the refuge to check the ponds at that end.  Along the way, as 
we walked under trees at the edge of a wet wooded area near the pond at the 
corner of the refuge, we saw about eight ducklings swimming behind a female 
that we could not at first see clearly.  As we waited, she came into view, at 
least for me, and I was astonished to see that she was not a Wood Duck, as I 
had expected, but a Hooded Merganser.  I clearly saw the characteristic 
merganser silhouette, which distinguished her at a glance from a Wood Duck, and 
the full, "puffy," brownish crest distinguished her from any other mergansers.  
The young were dark-bodied with prominent brownish-rufus on the head, their 
coloration suggestive of female Hooded Mergansers.  The appearance was very 
different from that of Wood D uck ducklings, which I have often seen.

    The size of the young led us to think that they might have been several 
days old, maybe a week.  They were about four to five inches long and quite 
active and alert.  Mother and brood swam quickly beyond our view in the dense, 
flooded vegetation.  

    The area where we observed the birds is about a tenth of a mile from the 
tree-lined creek at the back of the refuge.  Because the area was flooded, it 
in effect had become part of the pond nearby.  At its nearest point to the 
creek, the western edge of the pond is probably not more than a hundred feet 

    Barn Owl has been a confirmed breeder in Greene County for many years.  
Today's observation offers the only confirmed nesting evidence in the county 
for Hooded Merganser and represents one of only a tiny number of records for 
East Tennessee.  However, it is interesting to note that Chuck Nicholson's 
Atlas of the Breeding Birds o f Tennessee shows Hooded Merganser as a possible 
breeder in one survey block in Greene County.    

    Other species of note at the refuge today (my count; Eric's may differ):

    Blue-winged Teal (21)
    Northern Shoveler (9)
    Green-winged Teal (36)
    Hooded Merganser (12 females in addition to the breeder)
    Pied-billed Grebe (3)
    Great Egret (1)
    Black-crowned Night-Heron (2)
    American Coot (22)
    Greater Yellowlegs (19)
    Lesser Yellowlegs (5)
    Wilson's Snipe (4)
    Savannah Sparrow (2)

    Don Miller
    Greeneville, Greene Co., TN

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  • » [Bristol-Birds] Hooded Merganser with [young] at Joachim Bible Refuge (Greene Co., TN) - Wallace Coffey