|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
A quiet, secretive duck, the Hooded Merganser is the smallest of the North American mergansers, about the same size as the Wood Duck.
Hooded Mergansers are sexually dimorphic. Males are a striking combination of black, white, and reddish brown. The head, neck, and back are black, the rump is grey, and the tail is dark, greyish brown. The chest, breast, and belly are white, and there are two irregular black marks on the sides of the breast. The sides and flanks are tawny or reddish brown. The male’s most distinguishing physical characteristic is his crest, which when fully erect, reveals a stunning white patch bordered by black. When the crest is down, there is a white stripe extending backwards from the eye.
Females and immature males look alike. They are dark, greyish brown or blackish brown. The neck, chest, sides, and flanks are grey. The head is brown. The female’s crest is brown, tinged with cinnamon, and sometimes white at its tip. The crest of the immature male is similar to, but smaller than that of the female. Not all immature males have a crest.
Hooded Mergansers are the only merganser that lives (breeds and winters) exclusively in North America. In the past, they were found throughout the continent, including mountainous areas, wherever suitable habitats existed. Today, they are most common in the Great Lakes region and eastern Canada but are also found in the Pacific Northwest.
Photographed at the Wetland and Wildfowl Centre in Arundel, Sussex.
PDP, Robbrown has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.