Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser

North Dakota Game Species
Fact Sheet
Genus species Lophodytes cucullatus
Wing spread 26 inches
Body length 18 inches
Weight 1.6 pounds
Description Males have a black head with a white spot on crest, black back, brown sides, white chest and belly, and gray patch on shoulder. Females are brownish gray on head, chest and sides, and have a dark back. Both sexes have white bars on the wing speculum.
Nesting Habitat Typically nests in tree cavities.
Clutch size 11 eggs
Incubation period 32 days
Status in North Dakota Uncommon during migration, but a fairly common nester in wooded habitat. Eastern North Dakota is considered secondary breeding range.
Food habits Aquatic insects, small panfish and minnows, crayfish and frogs.
Fun Facts In an effort to attract a mate, the male hooded merganser may swim rapidly around the female, then leap into the air and perform a somersault before splashing back into the water. The hooded merganser competes with wood ducks for nesting cavities in North Dakota.