Torrent Ducks are breeding residents of the cold mountain streams of the Lauca area and always a treat to watch.  Once again we refer to AW Johnson's excellent "Birds of Chile", for the most interesting natural history observations. Johnson relates the account of extraordinarily dedicated photographer George Moffet, who set up camp and devoted six weeks to the study of Torrent Ducks in Argentina.  After watching a nest for weeks, and wondering how the chicks would descend from the steep rock bank, Moffett observed the frenzied female duck and wrote "As she swam, she called vigorously and continuously to the two ducklings standing on the ledge 60' above her.........the first one out of the nest made the first leap into the torrent..........the duckling tumbled off the edge and tumbling as it fell, bounced off a projection of the cliff, and then onto bare jagged rocks and stony debris at the base............without a moment's pause it went into the water and swam around easily in the eddy which revolved in the slow whirlpool behind the boulder....."

p. 69,  Supplement to the Birds of Chile and adjacent regions of Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru by AW Johnson,  1972



Torrent Ducks in Lauca Park, Chile

Merganetta armata
drawing   Daniel Martinez

Daniel Martinez' torrent duck in Lauca National Park


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