Hooded Mergansers appear to be abundant this year. This photo was taken on Cody Lake here in Rice County, Minnesota. I did a quick literature search and was surprised to learn that ornithologists really don’t know much about current Hooded Merganser population trends. They think that numbers are increasing, but have little scientific data to support that hypothesis (Dugger et al. 2009). Eckert writes that this species is an uncommon breeder across Minnesota, but is more common during migration.