Photo Credit: Painting by Jim Denney - Winner of the 2007 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest
DISTRIBUTION: Forested wetlands, brackish estuaries and tidal creeks are preferred wintering habitats. Hooded mergansers winter along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf coasts, mainly from southeastern Alaska to northern Baja California, and New England to Florida and west to northern Mexico. The majority of wintering hooded mergansers occur in the Mississippi Flyway.
LIFE HISTORY AND ECOLOGY: Hooded mergansers breed from southeastern Alaska, central British Columbia, and southwestern Alberta to southwestern Oregon, central Idaho, and northwestern Montana; and from central Saskatchewan to Nova Scotia south to Kansas, northern Louisiana, and northern Georgia. Hooded mergansers prefer forested wetland systems where they nest in tree cavities or nest boxes and lay an average of 9 to 11 eggs.