Hooded Merganser

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Lophodytes cucullatus

The large head of the Hooded Merganser drake is black with a large fan-shaped white crest. The back is black with white stripes. The breast and belly are white and the flanks are brown. The hen has a brown crest and a grayish brown body.

Goldeneyes, Buffleheads and Mergansers are easily confused. Overall size, shape and amount of white are the key field marks. Hooded Mergansers are medium in size and the drakes show large amounts of white on the head.

Length: 18"
Weight: 1 1/2 lbs.

illustration of hooded merganser hen, drake, and eclipse drake

Illustration of hooded merganser wings

Often seen in pairs, or very small flocks. Short rapid wingstrokes create an impression of great speed.

Winters in the inland waters of all coastal States; seldom goes to salt water.

Hooded Merganser
illustration of hooded merganser in flightside view of hooded merganser in flight

Voice: Seldom heard in fall.