Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hooded Merganser

Hooded Mergansers are among our most handsome ducks.  For the past few falls, I have been aware of a small flock inhabiting a lake next to Spring Creek Road in Parmeadow Park near one of Northfield's golf courses.  With high traffic, both pedestrian and automobile, these birds are relatively tame.
Other mergansers survive almost entirely on fish.  Hooded Mergansers capture more diverse fare, including fish, insects, and crayfish.  Although acid rain is a threat to many breeding populations, Hooded Merganser populations are healthy (Dugger et al. 2009).
I have previously witnessed this behavior in other male Hooded Mergansers.  The birds rear and flap their wings after surfacing from dives.  They may be drying themselves or, perhaps, signalling their location to other surfacing flock members.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Hooded Merganser's are my favorite duck and I'm still waiting for a good oppertunity to photograph them.