Hooded Merganser

I saw this little bird while walking at Drake Park and had no idea what it was.  Google to the rescue!  I entered “duck-like bird with black and white head and yellow eyes” and lo and behold . . . there it was.  A Hooded Merganser.  Ducks-7598January 14, 2015This one is a male. I’ve lived here for 14 years and this was the first time I’ve seen this bird.

Ducks-7606January 14, 2015
Christmas Kayak-7146December 12, 2014Females have a distinct cinnamon crest. I had seen one several weeks ago and tried to photograph it but it was a little blurry.  But here it is anyway.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, “the Hooded Mergansers are fairly common on small ponds and rivers, where they dive for fish, crayfish, and other food, seizing it in their thin, serrated bills. They nest in tree cavities; the ducklings depart with a bold leap to the forest floor when only one day old.”

Ducks-7601January 14, 2015I am going to have to go back and see if I can get more photos.


9 Replies to “Hooded Merganser”

  1. Maralee, what a fantastic gallery of this little cute and small bird. Have to find out if it is a bird that we have over here too. Really like it’s name too, Hooded Merganser … the top image is my pick. *smile
    I wish you a pleasant weekend.

  2. The ‘hoodies’ are great fun. If you take a closer look at the google images, you can see that the white patch becomes smaller and less noticeable when they are startled or alert. It’s possible that’s why you may not have noticed them previously. I think the females are hilarious with their resemblance to Phyllis Diller.

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