Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

Hooded merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus

Kuifzaagbek (Kokarde zaagbek) / Kappensäger / Harle couronné

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern (IUCN, 2012).


In breeding plumage, the drake dons a large white crest or "hood" for which the species is named, the crest is bordered with black; the face, throat and upper back are also black. There is a bar of white that is seperated by black on each side of the mantle and a white breast; the sides and flanks are cinnamon, barred with fine black. The wing coverts form long black and white plumes. During eclipse, the male is similar to the female, but often brigther ans with more white on the wings. Bill is black, feet dark gray. 

 

Hooded mergansers in aviculture

The hen also sports a crest or hood, but not as colorful or large as the drake, being all buff in color. Or overall plumage is brownish gray, with long white wing coverts. Her bill and feet are greenish-brown. This species will use the same nesting boxes as Wood Ducks to make their nests in. The breeding season is from April to June. The clutch counts 8-12 eggs which hatch in 28 days. Be sure to provide the ducklings with live food such as mealworms.

 

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Above: adult male in breeding plumage

 

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Above: adult birds (female in background) in breeding plumage

 

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Above: female with ducklings

 

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Above: adult birds in breeding plumage

 

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Above: adult female

 

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Above: adult male in breeding plumage

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