The Hooded Merganser is a very small diving duck and the sexes are distinctly different in their appearance. The Male Hooded Merganser has a black head with a large white patch and yellow eyes. The Female Hooded Merganser is a tawny cinnamon color. This Female is preening in evening light on a pond in Florida. The Hooded Merganser has a collapsible crest that can make their head very different shapes depending on the position of the crest. They dive for small fish and insects.
Posts Tagged: duck
I have been searching for the Illusive Wood Duck to photograph for several years! Despite their nickname as “Carolina” Duck, they seem to be scarce here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Maybe I just don’t know where to look? I was recently in Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and suddenly here was Mrs Wood Duck! No sign of her well dressed male partner but she is just fine!.
They do this all the time……A Male Northern Pintail Duck landing, maintaining control during rapid deceleration with a high angle of attack with feathers showing wings in a stall! The feather’s design allows the tip feathers to rotate to a lower angle of attack and avoid stall. A ‘short pond landing’.
I spotted this beauty sitting on the shore of a pond in the Viera Wetlands in April. It is a male Hooded Merganser. The strikingly large crest on his head is folded back. I watched him for a while as he sat on the shore, appearing to be waiting for something. Just as I was ready to move on, he raised his fan shaped crest. I learned later that raising the crest is part of his displaying behavior. The next day I found him again sitting in the same spot but this time he was accompanied by a female Hooded Merganser. They scooted away before I could get their photograph. I guess that huge crest has lots of sex appeal because I didn’t see the pair again!