[CT Birds] Duck story

Greg Hanisek ghanisek at rep-am.com
Tue Jun 3 23:18:10 EDT 2008

Hello Carol,

I've got an answer and a little revision. It's likely the bird is a Common 
Merganser, which is a cavity nester and a fairly common nester in CT in the 
right habitat. (Red-breasted Merganser builds conventional ground nests and 
hasn't been proven as nesting in CT. And of course the females of the 2 are 
very similar, especially when in less than pristine condition). The Common 
Merg's use of cavities explains why it might accidentally go down a chimeny. 
I've heard of Wood Ducks (also cavity nesters) doing the same thing.

Greg Hanisek

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carol Bauby" <gypsy.carol at charter.net>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2008 10:51 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Duck story

> Dear List Members,
> Both my husband Tom and I enjoy looking for different ducks at different
> times of the year and have traveled the east coast to do this.
> Well, on Sunday night, we were relaxing in our family room in the
> downstairs of our high ranch, and heard a weird scratching noise coming
> from the wood stove that we don't use much because it doesn't draw very
> well and the room fills with smoke, even with an addition to the
> chimney.  We sort of forgot about it but on Monday night we heard the
> same noise.  So there was something alive in the woodstove but what
> should we do??? Not open the door in my mind!!!  We *thought* it was
> most likely a squirrel who fell in the chimney.  SO, we called our son
> who came over today, fearless that he is.  You will never guess what was
> found in the woodstove............a female red breasted merganser
> (deceased a short time)!!!!!!!!!!! We may never know how this poor duck
> fell into the small flue and eventually into the woodstove.
> Does anyone have any ideas on this?  The top of the flue is small, about
> the size of a cinder block.
>  ~Carol in Harwinton
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