In the natural world, wildlife's offspring learn by watching & doing to achieve those important life lessons which will enable them to survive and thrive.
The following photos depict to different families of Common Mergansers. The first series (Photos #1 - 5) are of a young family & their mother, who chose to take some time out to groom and rest up on the shoreline of a creek, having had a tiring trip upstream. The photos were taken at the very end of July when we were still experiencing some smoky air conditions.
The second series (Photos #6 - 9) are of a family I caught recently, fishing in a division of the Bow River. It was quite entertaining watching them scooting along the surface of the water, diving and chasing the fish along a shallow shoal. Am not certain who of the family of five made this awesome catch but from its excitement, it was very pleased to have caught such a dinner. And yes, it went down in one swallow and then onto the next one.
PHOTO #1 - Momma Merganser Grooming
PHOTO #2 - Getting All Those Feathers Oiled
PHOTO #3 - A Stunning Example of a Female Merganser
PHOTO #4 - Grooming Lesson
PHOTO #5 - A Very Tiring Morning
PHOTO #6 - Hit the Jackpot
PHOTO #7 - Landing It
PHOTO #8 - We Have It "In Bill"
PHOTO #9 - On the Way Down