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Species, Age and Sex Identification of Ducks Using Wing Plumage

Separation of Bufflehead and Hooded Merganser

Although whole birds are quite easy to tell apart, detached wings of some sex and age groups appear superficially similar. There are, however, two characteristics useful for separating the two species. Hooded mergansers have black tertials with central white strips, and the white on their secondaries is restricted to the feather edges. In contrast, bufflehead tertials are solid black, and the white on their secondaries extends to the feather shafts.

GIF-Variation in the tertials and secondaries between the hooded merganser and the bufflehead

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