SIGHTING THE ELUSIVE "HOODIES"
March 08, 2012 • Leave a Comment
Hooded Merganser drake
One of my favorite ducks are the handsome and elusive Hooded Mergansers. Of the six living mergansers worldwide, the hooded are the second smallest and the only one restricted to North America. I have found the "Hoodies," along with Bufflehead and Ruddy ducks, to be three of the most elusive waterfowl to find and get close enough to capture good photographs. These three species of birds are all very wary of people and if your lucky to stumble upon one or a pair, the experience is normally short lived. One advantage we have as photographers is occasionally finding them within good shooting range during the early pairing up and pre-nesting season of late February and early March. So far I have been fortunate and within range of several pair this year and have been able to record some of my best photos yet of this very handsome species.
Hooded Merganser Ducks, adults 16-19" length, 24-26" wingspan, 16-31oz weight, diving duck prefers fish and crayfish, nest in tree cavities, hens average 13 eggs, newly hatched down covered ducklings leave the nest after 1 day
Drake, partially raised hood
Hooded Merganser, hen
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