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Hooded Mergansers a small duck, have a crest at the back of the head which can be expanded or contracted. In adult males, this crest has a large white patch, the head is black and the sides of the duck are reddish-brown. The adult female has a reddish crest, with much of the rest of the head and body a greyish-brown. The Hooded Merganser has a sawbill but is not classified as a typical merganser.
Their preferred habitat for breeding is in swamps and wooded ponds of the northern half of the United States and southern Canada. They prefer to nest in tree cavities near water, but will use Wood Duck nesting boxes if available and unoccupied