Lophodytes cucullatus

Common Names: Hooded merganser
Category: Birds
Sub-category: Ducks, Geese, & Swans

A small duck and is the only member of the genus Lophodytes. These ducks feed by diving and swimming under water to collect small fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects. Hooded mergansers 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 grayish-brown.

Their preferred habitat for breeding is in swamps and wooded ponds. They prefer to nest in tree cavities near water, but will use wood duck nesting boxes if available and unoccupied.

Edible Notes: Reported to be edible and tasty.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.