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Hooded merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus

Description:

The hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) is a species of small duck. It is the only extant species in the genus Lophodytes. The bird is striking in appearance; both sexes have crests that they can raise or lower, and the breeding plumage of the male is handsomely patterned and coloured. The hooded merganser has a sawbill but is not classified as a typical merganser. Hooded mergansers are the second smallest species of merganser, with only the smew of Europe and Asia being smaller, and it also is the only merganser whose native habitat is restricted to North America. A species of fossil duck from the Late Pleistocene of Vero Beach, Florida, was described as Querquedula floridana (a genus now included in Anas), but upon reexamination turned out to be a species closely related to the hooded merganser; it is now named Lophodytes floridanus, but the exact relationship between this bird and the modern species is unknown.

Habitat:

For preference the hooded merganser lives on small bodies of water such as ponds and small estuaries where there is ample emergent aquatic vegetation, but it also inhabits larger wetlands, impoundments, flooded timber, and rivers. They prefer fresh water but do occur on brackish water bodies as well.[4]

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Scott s
Spotted by
Scott s

Halsteads Bay, Ontario, Canada

Spotted on Apr 6, 2015
Submitted on Apr 9, 2015

Reference

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