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Hooded Merganser - Lophodytes cucullatus

Characteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum:
Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Anseriformes
 Family: Anatidae
 Genus: Lophodytes


Hooded Merganser

ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern
    Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Todd Wilson cc logo
  Characteristics

Hooded MerganserThe hooded merganser is a small diving duck with a long, pointed bill. The female hooded merganser has brown eyes, a reddish crest, and grayish-brown feathers.

Hooded MerganserThe adult male hooded merganser has a white fan-shaped crest on his head. He has bright yellow eyes, a black head, a white chest with two black stripes, a brownish-black back, rust-colored sides, and a grayish-brown rump and tail.

  Range
mapThe hooded merganser breeds from  southern Alaska south to Oregon and Montana and from Manitoba and Nova Scotia, Canada south to Arkansas and northern Alabama. It winters near coasts from British Columbia south to California and from New England south to Florida and Texas.

  Habitat
The hooded merganser breeds on wooded ponds, lakes and rivers and winters in these areas as well as on coastal marshes and inlets.


  Diet
Hooded MerganserThe hooded merganser feeds during the day. It dives and forages on lake, river and pond bottoms for fish, crayfish and other crustaceans. It also eats aquatic insects and some aquatic plants.
  Life Cycle

Hooded MerganserBreeding season runs from March to May. Males court females in small flocks. The male raises his crest to attract the female, turns the back of his head towards her and flaps his wings. The female points her bill to the sky and bobs her head up and down.

The female lays 6-12 eggs in a nest in a tree hole or in a log. The nest is lined with whatever is in the hole including woodchips, leaves and other debris and then it is lined with down. The male leaves the female once incubation begins. The eggs hatch in about a month. The day after the ducklings are born the female leads them to water. They fledge in about 70 days.

  Behavior
The hooded merganser usually gathers in small groups of no more than 10 or 12. When they are startled, they will fly away. They are one of the fastest flying ducks.



 


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