Male - The male Hooded Merganser has a black head with a large white patch from behind the yellow eye to its bushy crest which can be expanded or contracted. The neck and back are black with a black band across a white breast, reddish-brown flanks, and a thin black beak. The Hooded Merganser has a sawbill for gripping fish.
Female - The female has a dull brown head with a smaller red-brown crest, brown eyes, the beak has a yellow lower mandible and darker upper mandible, the upperparts are brownish-grey with greyish upper-breast, flanks, and white lower-breast.
Eclipse - The male in eclipse plumage is very similar to the female but has yellow eyes and a darker beak.
Size: - Typical Adult is about 48cm (19in).
Food: - Small fish, crustaceans, and aquatic insects.
Habitat/Range: - Swamps, wooded ponds, lakes, and rivers in northern USA, and southern Canada. They winter in the USA.
Breeding Season: - March to beginning of May in colder regions.
Eggs: - 8 to 12 (glossy white colour).
Notes: - The Hooded Merganser is a sea duck. It is able to dive for fish and stay underwater for some time and uses its sawbill to grip the fish.
Conservation status (IUCN 3.1):
Classification: - Family: Anatidae,
Subfamily: Merginae, Genus: Lophodytes.