For birders, HOMEs (pronounced ho-mees) are Hooded Mergansers. I've got some HOMEs I've been seeing regularly at Demott Pond, a small nearby pond that I visit whenever I'm in the area or need a few more birds to get my 20 species minimum daily requirement. For the past month and a half, I've had anywhere from two to six of these HOMEs on the pond, where they patrol the area, males flashing their striking black and white crests, females flexing their auburn tresses. They dive for small fish and other aquatic goodies, and at any one moment several may be floating on the pond, while others are swimming through the murky waters below. I love seeing these guys, ever since I spotted my first pair on a small pond near Canby, Oregon while on a bicycle ride as a kid (26 March 1983, to be exact). Never can get enough of hanging with my HOMEs!
Guardians of the Forests
17 hours ago