Joan Chasan photographed the following at Heard Pond in Wayland: bald eagles, belted kingfisher, great blue heron, Lincoln's sparrow and the fall colors. Joan also photographed more photos of the ducks she had submitted from the end of September. She wrote to the eBird program at Cornell and received the following from a project leader there: "I can say with a lot of confidence that these are not "just" Hooded Mergansers. The bill structure and plumage indicates that they are hybrids and the pattern of several of the birds seems perfect for Wood Duck. The nesting habits of Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser are quite similar, so having a mixed pairing is perhaps not that shocking. Nonetheless, I have been birding 25+ years and have never seen ducks like these. Fascinating birds and great photos.
This is indeed a VERY exciting observation. This pairing actually has been found a few times before and we do have it as a data entry option in ebird. Since it would be the first ever such entry from Massachusetts, I hope you will consider entering an eBird record for Heard Pond with these birds."
Craig Smith photographed the following during a walk at the Assabet River national Wildlife Refuge in Maynard: an immature bald eagle, beaver, great blue heron, hooded mergansers, mallards, muskrat, painted turtle, red-tailed hawks, and a ring-necked duck.