Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)
- HABITAT - Hooded Mergansers live in wooded wetlands, lakes, and bays, and is often spotted in small flocks skirting the back edge of fresh or brackish bodies of water. Hooded mergansers occur in many areas also frequented by wood ducks. Ponds, rivers, creeks, bays, and swamps are among the habitats used by this widespread species. Hooded mergansers are short-distance migrants, and they winter in the United States in regions where winter temperatures allow for ice-free conditions on ponds, lakes and rivers.
- DIET - The serrated bills of mergansers are adapted for catching small fish. While the other mergansers are primarily fish-eaters, the Hooded Merganser has a more varied diet that not only includes small fish but also insects, crayfish, and other aquatic creatures. They forage by diving and swimming under water.
- FACTS - We have nicknamed the Hooded Mergansers “Hoodies”. The male can change its head shape depending on whether its crest is raised or lowered.