A few days ago I spotted a small flock of maybe twenty Hooded Merganser Ducks plus a few hen Ring Necked Ducks paddling around a tiny pond here in my community. The pond is located in front of the Plaza Grande shopping center at Spanish Springs and is between Highway 27/441 and the frontage road (near all the fast food restaurants).
These Hooded Mergansers eat fish, frogs, small turtles and larger aquatic insects. They dive for their prey. They use their long slightly pointed bill to help catch their meal. Hooded Merganser drakes raise the feather hood on their head to signal alerts of danger or an unusual circumstance. The hens are almost all a rich brown color with a tuft mohawk of feathers on the top of their head. Please click on the thumbnail image to see the slightly larger version of the photo. Enjoy!