Love is in the air...

Monday Sketcharoo! 2 Small HMLook around you. If you’ve got the eyes to see it, the world around us is a zoo without plaques, cages, or churros. Even within the boundaries of large cities, animals still manage to carve out a living. While some maintain and adapt their natural foraging and nesting tactics to the urban landscape, others learn entirely new skills to scrape by, like pan-handling, or accounting. All it takes to appreciate their presence in our world is a little patience, knowledge, a can of mace, and a good pair of binoculars.

Today on the Sketcharoo, we feature one of these fascinating critters: the Hooded Merganser. The Hooded Merganser is a diving duck whose most notable feature is a crest of feathers that can be extended above its head, giving it that distinctive “just back from a Kid n Play concert” look. Its courtship displays include head-pumping and ritualized drinking, similar to the displays of the common North American fratboy. During such displays, the male periodically whips its head backwards and lets out a call that I can only suspect translates thusly:

Hooded Merganser Mating

If you’d like to learn more about the Hooded Merganser, visit their Cornell Lab of Ornithology page, or view this 1987 Larry King interview with the Merganser.

Speaking of birds, I'm on Twitter now and can be followed under the username @ZackRock. Hope to see you on there soon!