Hooded Mergansers

These striking ducks are a rare but welcome sight here on the lake, where we sometimes spot them on their migratory pattern in early spring and late fall.  They are small and slender, about 16-19",  with a pointed bill.

Fast in flight, the Hooded Merganser has a wingspan of about 2 feet.

Their diet is mostly fish, but they do also eat insects and mollusks, too.

The nest is made in trees, there can be many, many eggs in one clutch. 

When a brood is spotted in the spring, it's not unusual to see a dozen or more ducklings bobbing along behind the hen.