While shooting a new episode of the #gobirdingvlog at the Gralla reservoir, Austria in December 2019, I encountered a male Goosander / Gänsesäger (Mergus merganser) aggressively stealing bread from Mallards / Stockenten (Anas platyrhynchos) and Coots / Blässhühner (Fulica atra). I remembered my only time seeing this behavior by a Goosander (both stealing food and eating bread!) – it was in the exact same place, also shown by a lone male Goosander, in December 2010 – 9 years before.
While Goosanders frequently become targets of pirates like gulls, when surfacing with a caught fish, a quick google search didn’t reveal much* about them also being in the active role.
I wonder, if this is the very same bird who learned to steal bread from other waterfowl, practicing kleptoparasitism for many years in the same place?
The bird can be seen in action here.
*Cardini A. & G. Chiozzi (2015): Piracy strikes back on Lake Maggiore (Northern Italy): first report of Common Merganser Mergus merganser kleptoparasitizing Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus. Riv Ital Ornithol Res Ornithol 85:67–72