Hooded Merganser

By Brian M. Collins
Published: October 7, 2011
DAPPER DUCK – The male hooded merganser is smartly dressed for a leisurely afternoon swim.
Photo by Brian M. Collins
This winter, one of the most dapper of waterfowl may bring color and vitality to your favorite river, lake or patch of open water. The hooded merganser, one of the famed “sawbill” ducks, has a widespread winter range on the North American continent, absent only from the northern Great Lakes (where it returns early spring) and the central Great Plains.
    Not only is it widespread, but this small diving duck also uses a great variety of aquatic habitats, making it more likely that its striking feather patterns and zigzag curves will pass by the lenses of your binoculars.
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