This Male Hooded Merganser surprised me when he suddenly stood up in the water and flapped. He looked as if he was walking on top of the water while flapping his wings! This is an adult Male with his distinctive flamboyant crest with the white patch. The Hooded Merganser is North America’s smallest Merganser but it has the largest crest. The Hooded Merganser can raise or lower the crest which completely changes the shape of the duck’s head. The Male courts the female by raising his crest so perhaps this one was looking for a mate. These small diving ducks nest in tree cavities near ponds or streams. The ducklings leave the nest at only one day old. The ducklings jump to the forest floor when Mama Merganser calls to them from below enticing them out of the nest.
Posts Tagged: Hooded Merganser
The Male Hooded Merganser seems to get all the attention because of his coloring and fan-shaped white crest however the Female Hooded Merganser is very attractive with her tawny crest. I was visiting the Viera Wetlands and this beautiful Female Hooded Merganser took off from the water with no sighting of the male. They are only winter residents in that area of Florida so maybe he was nearby. They are capable of taking off very quickly from water so I feel fortunate to have captured this image.
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!