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Hooded Merganser

Is that sound a frog or a bird?
© Gerry Beyersbergen View Large

Hooded Mergansers, affectionately known as “Hoodies,” nest across most of the northern US and well into Canada. They’re especially prevalent around the Great Lakes, though some winter as far south as Florida. By November, courtship and pair formation is well under way. And by early spring, Hoodies will seek out secluded woodland ponds, where they nest in tree cavities or manmade nestboxes. Hooded Merganser eggs are nearly spherical, with surprisingly thick shells. They’re ideally suited to the Hooded Merganser’s nest of choice — a cavity or a hole.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Hooded Merganser

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[Male Hooded Merganser courtship call, repeated; not found in Macaulay Library sounds, but on Cornell’s All About Birds website at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Merganser/sounds]

With a voice that sounds more like a frog than a bird, a male Hooded Merganser is courting a female.
[Male Hooded Merganser courtship call]
Picture a small duck with chestnut sides, a black back, and a white breast striped with black. As he displays to the rust-colored female, he fans his crown feathers into an extravagant, circular crest, white with black outlining. Next he tips his head, fully fanned, all the way back until it touches his back, as he lets out another sexy croak.
And this is just one of his fancy courtship moves.
[Male Hooded Merganser courtship call]
Hooded Mergansers, affectionately known as “Hoodies,” nest across most of the northern states and well into Canada. They’re especially prevalent around the Great Lakes, though some winter as far south as Florida. By November each year, courtship and pair formation are well under way. And by early spring, these Hoodies will seek out secluded woodland ponds, where they nest in tree cavities or manmade nest boxes.
[Female Hooded Merganser call, http://macaulaylibrary.org/audio/163898, 0.18-.20]
Females lay 10 or more eggs. That’s not unusual for a duck. But what is unusual is that the eggs are nearly spherical, with surprisingly thick shells. Ideally suited to the Hooded Merganser’s nest of choice – a cavity or a hole.
For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.
###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. 163898 recorded by Steve N. G Howell.
Male Hooded Merganser courtship call recorded by Oliver H. Hewitt: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Hooded_Merganser/sounds.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Sallie Bodie
© 2017 Tune In to Nature.org     January 2017           Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#        HOME-01-2017-01-09      HOME-01

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