Lake Ontario is big and where I am today, the Niagara River feeds into the Lake. All the ice floes this winter would have made any polar bear quite happy. The Niagara River flows northward from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario for a distance of 36 miles and is known for the salmon.
The ducks in this post are Red-breasted Mergansers, a diving duck. They have a serrated bill for catching fish. They mosey along in the water near the shoreline after the group of them drive fish shoreward.
Searching for food, the lone Merganser is on his own.
You can tell he is near shore as the light reflects off rocks below.
The river is composed of two parts, the Upper and Lower Niagara, separated at Niagara Falls. The Lower Niagara River is approximately 14 miles in length, and fishing opportunities are had from the Whirlpool north to the mouth of the river at Lake Ontario. The lower river is well-known for its Chinook salmon, rainbow trout and walleye fishing, all a bit big for our duck unless he gets a young one.
Ducks like fish too. Here we find lots of ducks diving for their dinner. If you are fishing, the international border runs down the middle of the river and you must have a license from both jurisdictions if your boat wanders from one side to the other. If you are a duck, no special license is required.
Once underwater, the birds use their feet and wings to propel them downward. They steer by shifting their head and tail positions. Once near the bottom, diving ducks use their feet to hover in position while they forage. Leaving the surface and then quietly resurfacing elsewhere, the Red-breasted Mergansers often fish together.
The next pair of Mergansers had gotten a rather large fish and eaten most before gulls came to steal their meal.
But the ducks go on the offense.
The male swims in while the female comes from behind.
Tug of war…
She gets part of her fish back… and is mobbed.
She takes a dive… but so does the gull…
And wins the fish.