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.