Our Smallest Merganser
The Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) is one of our most beautiful waterfowl species. Its beauty is very evident in the male and more subtle in the female. The male shows an artistic mix of black, white and chestnut, the black being on the head and back and the chestnut on the sides. It is noted by its brilliant white crest outlined in black which it often flashes in breeding season. This is offset by its deep yellow iris. The female is a mix of browns, oranges and grays. She is mainly brownish gray overall with an orangish-brown crest which is beautiful when it reflects the sunshine. Both have a fast, shallow wingbeat. They are not very vocal but do make growling, croaking and purring sounds during courtship. The Hooded Merganser is about 46 cm (18 in) long compared to the Common Merganser which is 64 cm (25 in) and the Red-breasted Merganser, 58 cm (23 in). The Common Merganser is also a fresh water species but cannot be mistaken for the Hooded Merganser because of its size and much whiter appearance.
|Hooded Merganser Male [Internet Photo]|
|Hooded Merganser Female|
|Hooded Merganser Female [Internet Photo]|