Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hooded Mergansers

Every now and then one gets lucky. Late one afternoon I stopped along Old Hickory Lake. There are several places along the main road where pools of backwater are on the opposite side of the road from the lake. Oftentimes, you will find birds flocked there. This was one of those days. And yes, I added another bird to my Life List, the Hooded Merganser. These Hooded Mergansers, a flock of about ten, had flown into this backwater area and were feeding on whatever they could find.

You can tell when you look at the images they are heavily cropped, but I still wanted to share. The water levels in this pool of water are very very low and oftentimes birds are standing on land in the middle of it. The Hooded Merganser typically lives in this area of the South, as well as throughout the majority of the United States, but breed mostly in the west. As always the brown colored duck is the female while the stark black and white is the male. There are several species of Mergansers and the Hooded is the smallest of the three.

The Hooded Merganser actually nest in tree cavities in wooded wetlands where they lay on average 9-11 eggs. These ducks are most prevalent in the Great Lakes Region. It is difficult to get accurate numbers on these ducks because they are so secretive. They prefer to dive in fresh water and generally feed on fish, crayfish and crustaceans, as well as insects.

The snow has melted here in middle Tennessee and this weekend the temperatures are going to be in the mid sixties. Earlier this week it was in the teens one night and in the fifties the next day. The dramatic swing in temperatures is insane. Not to mention it is hard to know what to wear from one day to the next. I wonder is this the norm for our Winters going forward. ENJOY!

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday


  1. This is one of my favorite birds. Congrats! I have a little figurine of this bird on my desk. Pretty good looking species!

  2. Sweet little ducks - that sure seems like a lot of eggs! Enjoy your more balmy temps this weekend. We're under a winter storm warning.

  3. love those Mergansers. We have a lot of them here also.