Date: Sat, 20 May 2006 18:10:37 -0400
Reply-To: Carol Lambert or Jeff Sewell <lambertsewell@MINDSPRING.COM>
Sender: Georgia Birders Online <GABO-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Carol Lambert or Jeff Sewell <lambertsewell@MINDSPRING.COM>
Subject: Hooded Merganser nesting in Georgia
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To: Dan Roper and GABO
Seeing your 5/2 post about your sighting of a female Hooded Merganser with chicks at the Arrowhead Environmental Education Center near Rome in Floyd County, reminded me of a female with 4 chicks I saw at Cochran Shoals Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Cobb County, a few years ago. A quick look at the on-line archives shows the following sightings from the piedmont:
on 4/30/00, a female with 5 chicks was seen and photographed at Charlie Elliott WC in Jasper County by Jim Flynn; on 4/20/02, I saw a female with 4 chicks at Cochran Shoals, as mentioned above. The chicks appeared to be about 2 weeks old.
on 5/04/04, Grant McCreary reported a female with 3 chicks in Dawson Forest, Dawson County. That's not too far from your sighting and may indicate breeding movement in your direction.
The Annotated Checklist of Georgia Birds (Georgia Ornithological Society 2003) notes about 22 sightings* of nesting around the state but none in the mountains. Although Arrowhead is very near a mountain, I wouldn't say it is "in the mountains", so yours would be the 4th or 5th sighting from the upper piedmont. ( I listed 3 reports. I'm not clear whether Eran Tomer's report fron June 2000 at the CRNRA, Cobb County was of 4 adults or a female and 3 chicks). My point is that your report does not stand alone and these recent reports tell me that a nesting at Arrowhead certainly does not seem out of the question.
*I assume this number is taken from an article by Bergstrom and Hon in The Oriole examining breeding records from 1967-2002. The Oriole, Vol. 67:43. In Burleigh's Georgia Birds (1958) no definite breeding records are noted although he lists several unconfirmed possibilities.
Tucker, DeKalb Co.
Georgia Rare Bird Alert
Georgia Ornithological Society
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