Merganser


The black and white fan shaped crest and the white patches on the wings recognizes the male Hooded Merganser.

The black and white fan shaped crest and the white patches on the wings recognizes the male Hooded Merganser.

The brown fan shaped crest, the white patches on the wings, and the spike-liked bill recognizes the female Hooded Merganser.

The brown fan shaped crest, the white patches on the wings, and the spike-liked bill recognizes the female Hooded Merganser.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Hooded Merganser Duck

The male Hooded Merganser has a vertical fan-shaped white crest, a white breast with two black bars on each side, wings with white patches, and brown flanks. The female has a loose tawny crest, a brown head, bill, and chest, and dark wings with white patches. Note the spikelike bill. The fan shaped crest may be raised or lowered. The range is from southeaster Alaska, southern Canada, and Midwest to eastern United States. It has a habitat on wooded lakes, ponds, and rivers. The diet is mainly eating fish. The Hooded is the smallest of the Mergansers and seems to be the least numerous, because it tends to live around swamps and wooded ponds where it may be overlooked or not seen.

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This female Red-breasted Merganser was photographed at the McKinley Boating Pier Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This male Red-breasted Merganser was photographed at the Milwaukee Art Museum lagoon.

Select this link to see photos or a slideshow of the Red-Breasted Merganser

The female red-Breasted Merganser is gray with a crested rusty head, white wing patch, and red bill and feet. The male is rakish with a black head and dark rusty breast separated by a white collar: red bill and feet. The bill of Mergansers has saw-edged mandibles. They migrate through the interior of the United States, but range from Alaska and through northeast Canada and the United States. Their habitat is on lakes, coastal bays, and the sea. They are diving fish ducks that chiefly eat small fish. The day I saw this pair of Merganser ducks they were grooming them selves, which made it more difficult to photograph them.