Stow Lake Wood Duck, Mandarin Duck, Hooded Merganser

David Assmann

Stow Lake has always had its shared of exotic waterfowl - various forms of mallards, Muscovy Ducks, etc. that were introduced by humans.  One of those - a female MANDARIN DUCK - has now been there for almost five years - first reported on eBird in 2014, and still present this morning on the west side of the island. On the northwest corner of the lake was an oversummering HOODED MERGANSER - for the past four summers a male Hooded Merganser has stayed at Stow Lake.  Presumably this is the same bird that has lost its ability (or desire) to migrate.  It often hangs out with the female Mandarin Duck. A recent arrival was a male WOOD DUCK, hanging out near the Boathouse. For the past ten years, like clockwork, a male WOOD DUCK has shown up in late spring at Stow Lake (it could be longer, but it's been at least 10 years based on eBird reports). This is probably not the same bird each year, particularly given that sometimes more than one Wood Duck has shown up.