A flock of Hooded Mergansers was among several other pond-dwelling birds when I was taking these pictures on December 12, 2014 near Ocala, FL. I have taken many pictures around this ranch pond in the past and think it is a very nice spot for wildlife watching. This pond is near where I have seen Mottled Ducks and a Wild Turkey in the last couple of months.
These Hooded Mergansers are migratory Winter visitors here in Marion County, Florida. They are diving ducks and mostly eat fish, turtles, frogs, and larger insects. The drakes have the white and black hood and the hens are a pretty cinnamon brown in color. Both genders raise this hood when alert or when signaling danger to each other. I really enjoy spotting Hooded Mergansers! Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture. Enjoy!