On coming to the water again the crest is fully expanded. The ideal size for the entrance hole is 8cm. The Hooded Merganser is at home on small lakes, pools and fast flowing water, with a marked preference for emergent vegetation. I timed one of this species, and it made its mile in less than one minute.Audubon (1840) says: "When migrating, they fly at a great height, in small loose flocks, without any regard to order." While they are thus retreating, the mother simulating lameness, almost exactly like some of the shore birds on the beach, flutters before the intruder, using every artifice to decoy him from the neighborhood of her young, when she takes wing and flies off. It can be difficult to get hand-reared ducklings to feed – live food such as daphnia, Tubifex worms, or mealworms can be useful to encourage feeding initially. Doctor Hatch (1892) says that, in Minnesota, "they stay as long as the ice will let them on the shores of the lakes, whence they go to open rapids, and late in November mostly drift more southward." This seems hardly likely, however.Where suitable nesting sites are scarce, the hooded merganser sometimes contends with other species of tree-nesting ducks for the possession of a coveted home and occasionally they share the home between them. Its center of abundance extends from the northern half of the Mississippi Valley into central Canada. The Hooded Merganser is a distinctively plumaged member of the sawbill group and a native to North America. Hooded mergansers are one of the fastest flying ducks as wells as one of the quickest diving ducks. The female repeats it six or seven times in succession, when she sees her young in danger. Not to take up too much space, I will say that a set of 10 eggs was taken from one of the boxes in the swamp at the head of the lake, a brood being reared in the other box there. The full plumage is assumed early in the fall, much earlier than in young birds, and is usually complete in October.Food: The hooded merganser lives and feeds almost exclusively on and in fresh water; I believe that some of its food is obtained on the surface, but it is an expert diver and finds much of its food on muddy or on stony bottoms. They also breed in regions from Missouri to southern Canada and from Nova Scotia to eastern North Dakota and Saskatchewan, migrating when necessary to avoid winter conditions. I waited about 5 or 10 minutes, and then walked quietly up to where I saw her light. The eggs, six in number, were white, and were more round than most duck eggs.June 13, 1899, found me near the lake again, hut farther off in a thicker, watching a cardinal whose nest I knew was near. Hooded mergansers are carnivores (piscivores) and their diet consists mainly of fishes. When about 5 feet from the place, she jumped up with a quack, and started for the lake.Now, I have several keys and other book's, and they all say the hooded merganser nests in hollow trees and stumps, but this nest was on the ground under the roots of the stump, in a sort of a cave that was about 14 inches back under the stump. The genus name of the Hooded merganser 'Lophodytes' comes from the Greek language where 'lophos' means 'crest', and 'dutes' - is 'diver'. There are always questions as to the validity of records, as this is a commonly kept species in wildfowl collections. North to Massa- chusetts, Pennsylvania, Lake Michigan, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and southern British Columbia (Comox and Okanagan). Breeding occurs anytime between the end of February and the end of June, depending on the region. It requires a steady hand and a correct eye to kill them on the wing, and the gunner must be ever mindful of the good old adage in duck shooting, "Hold well ahead." The nest was composed of about the same material as the other. The hooded merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) is a diving duck native to North America.As the name suggests, hooded mergansers are literally “hooded” with a large crest. They do well in a mixed collection, but take care that other species are not bullied during the breeding season. Male Hooded Mergansers are unmistakable with compact bodies and large head crests. Hatched Hooded Merganser eggs brooded by a female Wood Duck were not considered evidence of successful breeding. The hollow in the tree in which the nest was placed was not very large and the eggs were several layers deep.In Maine, Mr. William Brewster (1900) says that several of the rounded, pure white, thick-shelled eggs of the hooded merganser are sometimes included in a set of the green, thin-shelled eggs of the whistler.Eggs: The hooded merganser is credited with laying anywhere from 6 to 18 eggs; probably from 10 to 12 would cover the usual numbers. A set of 11 eggs was taken from the box on the tree in the lake, the bird using the box on the lone fir on the hillside for her second, and this time successful, attempt at rearing a brood for the season. Breeding occurs anytime between the end of February and the end of June, depending on the region. Our website content is available for all to use, but of course running our site has costs. His lower flanks are a rich reddish-brown or chestnut in color, and the breast and undersides are more or less white, extending into white stripes across the crop and breast. P. L. Hatch (1892) says:Once in January, 1874, when the mercury had descended to 490 below zero while a north wind was blowing terrifically, I saw a flock of six of this species flying directly into the teeth of the blizzard at their ordinary velocity of not less than 90 miles an hour. Breeding in North America, it migrates short distances to stay on open water. This was done through the kindness of Dr. G. D. Shaver, of Tacoma, Washington, who very kindly gave me entire use of his country estate near that city. Being strong swimmers, Hooded mergansers are very clumsy on land; this is because their legs are located far back on their body. The color is pure white, but they are often nest stained. At length, having satisfied their appetite, they rise on wing, fly low over the creek with almost incredible velocity, return to the broad stream, rove along its margin until they meet with a clean sand beach, where they alight, and where, secure from danger, they repose until the return of day. The color is pure white, but they are often nest stained. Like most waterfowl, Hooded merganser hatchlings are precocial and usually leave the nest within 24 hours after they hatch. Sawbills have narrow, serrated bills. Mr John G. Millais (1913) gives the following brief description of it: The courtship, according to my friend Mr. Franklin, consists of a sudden rise of the body with depressed crest. When Hooded merganser ducklings are in the water, they may gather in a very compact group resembling a muskrat in swimming; they do so to cheat aerial predators such as hawks for example. When about two-thirds grown, these young mergansers, like the young of most of the other fowls, arc excellent eating. The compactness of their flocks of half a dozen to 15 in their flight is characteristic, and their directness fully equal to that of the green-winged teal.Mr. The summer molt leaves them still in immature plumage and with but little change in the new wings, which still lack the pearl-gray lesser coverts and in which the greater coverts are only slightly white-tipped. P. B. Peabody, near Halloek, Minnesota, on May 9, 1899, was taken from a cavity in an elm tree about 100 feet from a wooded creek; the cavity was in a knot hole 15 or 20 feet from the ground and was 2 feet deep. The birds had used this tree for three years and had previously nested in an exactly similar hollow in an old elm stub half a mile below.
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