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Hooded Mergansers

Posted on Dec 9, 2015

It has been a great autumn for Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) even as we near the end of the season, with all of the above-average temperatures, little ice and rarely seen snow. Courting is well underway for these birds as you can see by the striking black-and-white crests being displayed by the drakes. The several hens present on this pond were mostly preoccupied with trying to take a nap or grabbing a bite to eat. The boys kept swimming after them, vocalizing and trying their best to get some attention.

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When it comes time to breed these birds will be making their nests in tree cavities. The hatchlings make the jump from their home to the ground and water at one day old from sometimes tens of feet off the ground! I guess it pays to be light and fluffy.

Scott Kruitbosch
Conservation & Outreach Coordinator