The little group of Hooded Mergansers were still here yesterday when I took these pictures from outside in my yard. I braved the slightly warmer temperatures (about 29 degrees F.) and snapped from behind an Oak Tree. The Hooded Mergansers were sharing the little pond here with a pair of Canada Geese, and some Mallard Ducks and a couple of Gadwall Ducks. The flock of Wood Ducks were not around. The snow was rapidly melting and the sun was shining. The mergansers are diving ducks. They like eating snails, small fish, smaller turtles and any other small aquatic animals or insects that they can catch. The mergansers also will dive to avoid predators.
The male or drake, will raise his white hood crest when he is alert, afraid, or aggressive. I noticed that when the Canada Geese came near, or the duck surfaced near the goose, the drake merganser had his white hood up. The hens also have a hood but it is a wild-looking fringe of brown that is the same color as the head and neck. The mergansers are migratory ducks and are just here for a quick visit before going north. I enjoyed seeing them. By the way, the pond is frozen about half-way across. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!