A Hooded Surprise

Top Photo: A whir of wings and slap, slap, slap of webbed feet on the water as the birds take off.

If you’re the first person of the day to descend the boardwalk leading to Explore the Wild you may see the mergansers in close to or under the boardwalk rousting out any mosquitofish, aquatic insects or crayfish that may be hanging out in the shadows.

The birds are shy. If the birds see you coming they may simply swim away to the other side of the wetland. If you surprise them they may burst into flight and beeline it to the other side.

These mergs saw me coming and calmly and swiftly swam away.
The rest of the group were under the boardwalk and didn’t see me approach until I was on top of them.
and the females.

However you encounter a hooded merganser, consider yourself lucky to have seen such an elegant looking duck.

A handsome duck indeed.

Lophodytes cucullatus

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