Hooded Merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus

Order

ANSERIFORMES

Family

Ducks, Geese and Swans (Anatidae)

Code 4

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ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Hooded Merganser has a large range, estimated globally at 5,500,000 square kilometers. Native to North America and nearby island nations and introduced to much of Europe, this bird prefers forest, wetland, and marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 270,000 to 390,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Hooded Merganser is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Hooded Merganser: Small merganser with black upperparts and white underparts with two black bars on side of breast; red-brown flanks. Crest shows large white patch when raised, white stripe extending backwards from the eye when lowered. Dark wings have white shoulder patches visible in flight.


Range and Habitat

Hooded Merganser: Breeds from northern British Columbia to the Pacific Northwest and central-eastern Canada to New England, the Great Lakes, and the Ohio River Valley. Winters south to Baja and the Gulf Coast states. Preferred habitats include small forest pools, millponds, swamps, and beaver ponds.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"crrrroooo"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Hooded Merganser finds its prey underwater by sight, the nictating membrane (third eyelid) is clear and acts to protect the eye during swimming, just like a pair of goggles.
  • It is the smallest of the three species of mergansers found in North America.
  • They are extremely agile swimmers and divers but awkward on land because their legs are set far back on the body.
  • A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Hooded Merganser

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
CrestX
Tufts of feathers on the head of the bird.
ShoulderX
The short feathers overlying the median secondary coverts on the top of the wing. They are located near the back and can be seen as the “first row” of feathers on the birds wing. They are also called marginal coverts and lesser secondary coverts.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X