USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Waterfowl Identification in the Central Flyway

Hooded Merganser (Fish Duck, Sawbill)


Male - Winter

GIF -- Picture of Male Hooded Merganser-Winter

Body: Small bird, up to 1 1/4 pounds, 17 1/2 inches long. Black body with two prominent black bars between chest and sides. White belly. Vermiculated tan sides. Dark greenish black head with distinct hood and fan-shaped white area. Eyes yellow. Bill blackish, narrow and serrated. Feet dull yellowish olive. Wings: Lesser and middle coverts gray, greater coverts, secondaries and tertials black and white; remainder dark. Voice: Series of course grunts. In Flight: Small size. Rapid wingbeat. White head-patch and belly contrast with dark head.

Male - Fall

GIF -- Picture of Male Hooded Merganser-Fall

Ranging from blotchy brown, black and white to near-winter coloration. Belly white. Hood present but lacking distinct white pattern. Eyes, feet, bill and wings same as in winter.

Female - All Seasons

GIF -- Picture of Female Hooded Merganser

Body: Dark back with chest and sides mottled gray. Belly white. Hood rusty. Eyes yellow-brown. Narrow, serrated blackish bill with yellow or orange tinge. Feet greenish brown. Wings: Similar to male but with less white. Coverts brown instead of gray. Voice: Rough grunt.

GIF -- Picture of Hooded Mergansers in Flight


Previous Section -- Ruddy Duck
Return to Contents
Next Section -- Common Merganser

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/waterfwl/hoodedm.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 20:02:55 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]