Tag Archives: Hooded Merganser

Male Hooded Mergansers, Then There Were Three

I was momentarily distracted by the Canada Goose With A Treasure while watching the two Hooded Merganser drakes show off. When I reverted my attention to the ducks I saw that a few more females and another male had joined the party.

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers

The three drakes performed tight circle maneuvers…

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers

… that ended with a spirited chase.

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers, Two Canada Geese looking on

The females lost interest and pretty soon they all casually swam to the other side of the pond, out of my view.

Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers

Male Hooded Merganser Duo Showing Off, Female Interest

Continued from Male Hooded Merganser Duo Showing Off

The second female toward the back got a little fancier with her tail action and the first one fluffed her crown up, showing a bit more interest.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

The male-male competition got a little heated.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

Then the female flattened herself, keeping her head under water for a bit, presumably to express interest in the males’ dance. I’d not seen this behavior before, and at one point wondered how long she could stay submerged.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

They circled around her several times while the second female moved on.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

Male Hooded Merganser Duo Showing Off

Two Hooded Merganser drakes were showing off for a female, doing their best to strut their stuff.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

The female didn’t seem to be that interested, and much of the action was one male crowding the other out.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

Back and forth they went, in and out of reflections created by trees on the far side of the pond.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off

A second female circled around a few times but she didn’t distract the drakes from the first female.

Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off
Hooded Merganser Drakes Showing Off, Two Females looking on

Magnolia Cemetery, Charleston, SC
February 20, 2021

Male Hooded Merganser

I liked the idea of this first composition best of these three, but the Merganser’s beak gets lost where it overlaps with the reed behind him.

Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds
Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds

The second image has a nice profile of his beak and the water has a lighter tint.

Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds
Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds

Not surprisingly he turned away from me as he passed the end of the reed clump.

Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds
Male Hooded Merganser, Reeds

A Duck In Flight

This possibly is a female Hooded Merganser. I didn’t see her in the water and don’t see them often enough to really know. The Merlin app suggested an Anhinga, which it clearly is not. That was the first time I’ve had that app be way off base.

Duck in Flight
Duck in Flight, Over Marsh Grass

There was a small flock of Mergansers milling around in a an adjacent pond, in water that took on an odd color reflection.

Female Hooded Merganser
Female Hooded Merganser

 

Merganser Drama

This Hooded Merganser was outnumbered, by Common Gallinules of all things. Gallinules tend to stick to the edges of any waterway and mind their own business except for their cackling squawks which always alerts the whole area to a photographer’s presence. Or so I thought.

Hooded Merganser and Gallinules
Hooded Merganser and Gallinules

The Gallinules quickly got into the Merganser’s space.

Hooded Merganser and Gallinules
Hooded Merganser and Gallinules

He tried out paddling them.

Hooded Merganser and Gallinules
Hooded Merganser and Gallinules

They followed so the  Merganser opted to put some extra distance between them.

Hooded Merganser and Gallinules
Hooded Merganser and Gallinule

Finally, a spot of his own.

Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser Pair

The same pair of Hooded Mergansers as yesterday’s post had places to go as they were out for a swim around one of Magnolia Cemetery’s ponds. The male gradually caught up to the female as they passed this group of Mallards on the edge of a small island.

Hooded Merganser Pair
Hooded Merganser Pair

The Mergansers weren’t in such a hurry that they chose to fly, but they didn’t divert even as the Mallards  went about their preening and flapping.

Hooded Merganser Pair
Hooded Merganser Pair

The Mergansers continued on their way, the female in the lead, headed out into the middle of the pond.

Hooded Merganser Pair
Hooded Merganser Pair

Hooded Mergansers

The Hooded Mergansers tend to be shy and I usually see them retreating shortly after I spot them. I happened to be sitting on a low wall watching a pond when these two swam by me, close enough to get a shot.

Hooded Merganser Female
Hooded Merganser Female – click image for larger view

The brown reeds and grasses of late winter made a golden glow on the water, a nice complement to these gorgeous ducks. The male is certainly flashier, especially when he has his hood up, but the female is an understated beauty.

Hooded Merganser Male
Hooded Merganser Male – click image for larger view

2/5/2018