Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday's Foto

One of my favorite locally overwintering waterfowl is the Hooded Merganser. Breeding in forested wetlands throughout the eastern half of North America and the Pacific Northwest, their entire range is restricted to North America. Of the three species of merganser found in North America the hooded is the smallest. All three have slender serrated bills perfectly adapted for capturing the slippery fish that make up most of their diet. Their diet also includes crayfish, frogs, mud crabs, clams, aquatic insects and insect larvae. Sexually dimorphic, the female Hooded Merganser has a gray-brown head and neck with a reddish-brown crest. Breeding males vocalizations include a humorous, frog-like "craaa-crrrooooo" sound. Click here to listen to some sound clips.

The IUCN Red List lists their conservation status as "Least Concern" due to extremely large range and increasing population trend. They've been helped by artificial nest boxes, including those intended for Wood Ducks.

Their scientific name (Lophodytes cucullatus) means - Lophodytes Gr. lophos crest; dutes diver (duo to plunge). Late L. cucullatus hooded (L. cucullus hood).

1 comment:

Akira Kurosawa said...

cra-coooool post!

Exploring urban nature, birds, birdwatching, birding, hummingbirds, butterflies, dragonflies, bees, hawks, raptors, wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, environment, binoculars, spotting scope