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Hooded Merganser

[ Canvasback ] [ Common Goldeneye ] [ Burrow's Goldeneye ]
[ Bufflehead ] [ Ferruginous ]   [ Smew ]
[ Greater Scaup ] [ Lesser Scaup ] [ Hooded Merganser ]
[ Rosy Billed Pochard ] [ Redhead Pochard ] [ Red Crested Pochard ]
[ Tufted ]



Male hooded mergansers have a large white crest surrounded by black. The top of the head, neck, and back are all black and the chest, breast, and belly are white. Wavy black lines can be seen on the tawny sides and flanks. The hind back, rump, and tail are dark brown. The long narrow serrated bill is black. The iris is bright yellow and the legs and feet are dull yellow. 

Female hooded mergansers have a gray-brown head and neck with a reddish-brown crest. Gray pervades their neck, chest, sides, and flanks, and brownish-black their back, rump, and tail. The upper bill is black edged with orange and the lower bill is yellow. The legs and feet are greenish in color and the iris is brown.


This species will use the same nesting boxes as Wood Ducks to make their nests in. The breeding season is from April to June. The clutch counts 8-12 eggs which hatch in 28 days. Be sure to provide the ducklings with live food such as mealworms.


General Comments

They can be aggressive during the breeding season (and even kill other ducks and geese), therefore it would be wise to house pairs separate from other species.


Place Mouse over Pictures to Enlarge

Hooded Merganser Drake

Hooded Merganser Hen

Hooded Merganser Pair

Hooded Merganser Family

How to Order