Hooded Merganser: Small merganser with black upperparts and white underparts with two black bars on side of breast; red-brown flanks. Crest shows large white patch when raised, white stripe extending backwards from the eye when lowered. Dark wings have white shoulder patches visible in flight.
Range and Habitat
Hooded Merganser: Breeds and winters in the Great Lakes region, eastern Canada, and the Pacific northwest. Preferred habitats include small forest pools, millponds, swamps, and beaver ponds.
The Hooded Merganser finds its prey underwater by sight, the nictating membrane (third eyelid) is clear and acts to protect the eye during swimming, just like a pair of goggles.
It is the smallest of the three species of mergansers found in North America.
They are extremely agile swimmers and divers but awkward on land because their legs are set far back on the body.
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.