Merganser Family in Hiding – Signed Limited Edition Print by Robert Bateman


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Merganser Family in Hiding
Robert Bateman Hand Signed Limited Edition Print 16.25″ x 26.5″

Edition Size: 950

“Mergansers are almost like ducks. From a distance they look like ducks, they swim and fly like ducks, but their bills are quite different. They have long, thin bills with a row of saw-like ‘teeth’. This makes it easier to hold the fish which form the bulk of their diet. Common mergansers return from migration in early spring, the males arriving first. After mating, the males leave for more distant points, and the females lay their eggs, usually in a hollow stump near the water in a swamp. The young, which number nine, jump into the water shortly after hatching and follow their mother around as she catches tiny fish which have also just hatched at that time of year. The family lives in the shelter of a swampy area, usually a flooded bit of woodland on the edge of a lake. The little flotilla goes about its business; but if danger threatens, the mother gives a low call, and they move into the shadows and stay still. This is what has happened in this picture. If the danger increases, the young dive into little nooks and crannies while the mother rushes out and away flopping and giving distress calls to lure the intruder away from the young. They will stay hidden until the mother returns and gives the reassuring call. I have always liked swamps. They are lush and sheltered and rich with a great variety of life. They also have an air of mystery. I have tried to capture these qualities in this painting.” Robert Bateman

(From the original painting Merganser Family in Hiding, 1978, 22″ x 36″ Oil)

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