BIRD OF THE WEEK / WEEK 6: February 5, 2018

© Peter Massas


Hooded Merganser

Species Name

Lophodytes cucullatus


40-49 cm length | 60-66 cm wingspan | 453-879 gm weight

A small diving duck, the Hooded Merganser is the second smallest merganser next to the Smew. They have relatively long, broad tail, an expandable head crest and a long, serrated bill.

The drake has a black head with a large, white, wedge-shaped patch behind the eye, a black breast marked with thick white bands, a black back with a few white stripes near the tail and chestnut sides. The female is brown with a white underside, a light reddish-brown crest and brown eyes. The male in eclipse plumage looks similar to the female but he maintains his yellow eyes.

Habitat / Behaviour

Piscavore | Wetlands, ponds

The Hooded Merganser dives under the water, hunting small fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects by sight.


Monogamous | Cavity nester | 10-12 white eggs | 1 brood