Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hooded Merganser

The hooded merganser is a cool looking bird. The pictures below were taken on a gloomy, overcast day at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida and the colors don't stand out like they would if it were sunny. The term "hooded" refers to a crest at the back of the head which is black with a large white patch in males, or is all cinnamon colored in females. The males have reddish-brown sides and black with some white patches on the chest and back. To me they look ornamental, like something exotic to be put on a pond to swim around on, like colorful koi. 
Hooded mergansers at Merritt Island NWR

This photo gives the best view of the reddish brown sides and you can barely make out the reddish brown eye. I'm wondering if the term "odd-looking duck" comes from someone viewing these. 


  1. They remind me a little of Napoleon's bicorne hat. See

  2. I really like these posts on birds you do. I'm always amazed by the variety of wacky, interesting animals in the world