About Hooded Mergansers
The hooded merganser is the smallest of merganser species in North America. They have a slender bill tipped with a hooked nail. Hooded mergansers are agile swimmers and divers, but on land their legs are set back on their body making it awkward to walk. They are known for the hoods or crests on their heads.
When the hooded merganser is breeding, males use their hood to attract the female merganser. Once they have mated, the females will often lay their eggs in other female mergansers’ nests. They typically lay up to about 13 eggs in a nest, but some nests have been found with up to 44 eggs in them!
Hooded Mergansers in the Wild
Forested wetlands, most commonly by the Great Lakes.
They are found throughout North America.
The hooded merganser catches prey by swimming with their face under the water. Their diet consists of fish, crayfish, frogs, mud crabs, aquatic insects, insect larvae, and clams.
This species is a species of “least concern.”
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