Scandalous escapades on Torch Lake

Posted on May 10, 2010


Babs is not one to gossip, but when she is confronted with brazen behavior, what can she do? In this week’s email she writes: This handsome Merganser is sporting his two new girlfriends around the edge of Torch Lake this afternoon. Notice the two ladies have coiffed their hair differently. I’ll leave the rest of the story up to you.

I investigated at once.  It turns out we, um, may have been hasty.  My trusty Stan Tekiela says that Merganser juveniles look pretty much like adult females.  Wikipedia says the same thing, adding that juveniles “also show a short black-edged white stripe between the eye and bill.”  Hmm.  I zoomed in on the photo—inelegantly, with very basic software.  See what you think:

I’m thinking we have Mom, Junior, and Dad.  But wait!  Stan Tekiela also says, “The male leaves the female as soon as she starts to incubate eggs.” 

Now what kind of bird is that to feature on Mother’s Day?  I’d better wait to post this until Monday.  Anyway, that suggests that they aren’t paddling around in a happy little nuclear family.  Maybe they’re just friends. 

I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the Zoning Ordinance that covers this sort of thing, and I don’t want to give anybody any ideas.  If they take it up at the next Planning Commission meeting I’ll have to send Apologies of the British sort.