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Hooded Merganser

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About the Hooded Merganser

The Hooded Merganser is a small bird in the duck family. They are named for the large head crest that can be expanded or contracted. In males the crest has a large white patch which makes these birds relatively easy to ID in the field. Females also have a head crest, but it is reddish; overall the females are duller than male Hooded Mergansers.

Hooded Mergansers nest in tree holes and during breeding season are found mostly in wooded freshwater ponds.

They range over much of North America, with year-round populations in both the southeast of the United States and the southwest of Canada. Migratory populations summer in the south of the U.S. and along much of the west coast.

Hooded Mergansers are diving ducks that feed on small fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects underwater.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 24 April 2010
Scientific Name Lophodytes cucullatus
  • Anseriformes
  • Anatidae
  • Lophodytes
  • L. cucullatus
Birdorable Family Ducks & Geese
Conservation Status Least Concern
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 15 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
18 inches
24 inches
22 ounces
Range West Europe North America Central America Caribbean United States (West) United States (East)

International Names

  • morčák chocholatý (Czech)
  • Hjelmskallesluger (Danish)
  • Kokardezaagbek (Dutch)
  • harjakoskelo (Finnish)
  • Harle couronné (French)
  • Kappensäger (German)
  • Smergo dal ciuffo (Italian)
  • オウギアイサ(ougiaisa) (Japanese)
  • Hjelmfiskand (Norwegian)
  • kapturnik (Polish)
  • Хохлатый Крохаль (Russian)
  • Serreta Capuchona (Spanish)
  • Kamskrake (Swedish)

Related articles

Baby Birdorable: Hooded Merganser

Baby Birdorable: Hooded Merganser

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Hooded Merganser. Hooded Mergansers breed in ... more