Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)

Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser, male - Palm Desert, CA
© Tom Benson
Hooded Merganser
Hooded Merganser, female - Costa Mesa, CA
© Tom Benson

The Hooded Merganser is a casual visitor to campus: a male and female were seen 20 Dec 2013 in North Badger Basin. It is an uncommon migrant and wintering bird in southern California.

The male Hooded Merganser can be identified by its black head with a long, narrow white oval behind the eye, black and white breast, mostly black back, brownish sides, and its long narrow bill. Females are shaped similarly to males but are primarily brownish with a darker back. Both males and females can raise their crest dramatically changing the shape of their head, with the males also showing a large white patch behind the eye.


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