Male Hooded Merganser

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Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-1003I spotted this beauty sitting on the shore of a pond in the Viera Wetlands in April. It is a male Hooded Merganser. The strikingly large crest on his head is folded back. I watched him for a while as he sat on the shore, appearing to be waiting for something. Just as I was ready to move on, he raised his fan shaped crest. I learned later that raising the crest is part of his displaying behavior. The next day I found him again sitting in the same spot but this time he was accompanied by a female Hooded Merganser. They scooted away before I could get their photograph. I guess that huge crest has lots of sex appeal because I didn't see the pair again!

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sandra calderbank
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