Our bird this month is the Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus). Mergansers are a type of ducks known as diving or saw-billed ducks, which dive underwater and uses their narrow bills to catch fish. Hooded Mergansers have what is called sexual dimorphism, where the male and female birds look distinct from one another. The male on the , has the black and white head while the female on the , has the cinnamon head.
Because how male and female Hooded Merganser complement each other as a couple, we have chosen them to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Like many ducks, Hooded Mergansers have a second clear eyelid which protects their eyes underwater like a pair of swim goggles. Hooded Merganser are common in rivers, lakes and ponds. Local parks you can expect to find them at are Oxbow Nature Center, Idlewild Park and Virginia Lake.
Click here for more information about Hooded Mergansers.