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Hooded Mergansers came to the lake on Saturday, December 18, 2010 in the morning.  I took the pictures thinking that I was seeing Buffleheads.  Much to my amazement, the Ducks were Hooded Mergansers.  I had to look up some information about these small diving Ducks on the Internet,  as I had never before seen them.  The Hooded Mergansers have a large crest of feathers on their head.  The drakes or males have a white crest which they raise or lower as they desire.  The female is brown with the same kind of crest but their crest is brown.  The drake is black, white and tan.  The Hooded Mergansers have long narrow slightly pointed black bills.  These diving ducks enjoy eating small fish, and small aquatic animals and insects.  These Ducks do stay in Tennessee year around but I have never seen the Hooded Merganser here before.  I saw about six of these Hooded Mergansers, with a quartet and a duo.  I only spotted one hen or female in this group.  There likely were other Hooded Mergansers on the lake as their was a large group of  water birds way out on the far shore of the lake.  After a few moments, the Hooded Mergansers spotted me and flew off to the far shore.  I so enjoyed seeing these visiting Ducks.  I took these pictures from my balcony on 12/18/10 at about 9:00 AM.  Please click on the thumbnail version to see the larger photograph.  Enjoy!

Comments on: "Hooded Mergansers Visit the Lake" (3)

  1. Their markings are striking, and unique, so once you know what they look like, I think it would be easy to spot them. Glad you spied them before they flew away!!

    • Hi Ginny, I think I will know the markings now that I have seen these Hooded Mergansers in person. They have a similar color pattern to the Buffleheads when seen from a great distance with the naked eye. I don’t have my long lens at the moment as it is packed up to go to the repair shop – problems with auto-focus. So, I am using my 18mm-200mm Nikor lens on my Nikon for these pictures. Have a great day!

  2. It’s good that you got to see them! They are very pretty ducks. You are getting, and sharing, an excellent education in water fowl!

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