Hooded Merganser Flying Low Over Water / by Todd Henson

A male Hooded Merganser flying low over water.

In early Spring Hooded Mergansers  become more active in the wetlands, performing fascinating displays, and beginning their nesting. They, along with Wood Ducks, sometimes use nesting boxes placed in various locations throughout the wetlands.

I love photographing Hooded Mergansers while they are in the water, especially when they are performing courtship displays. They are quite impressive when they fully raise their crest, especially the male, with a bright white crest surrounded by black.

I also enjoy photographing them when in flight. Photographing birds in flight is always a challenge, especially with fast flying birds such as ducks. It takes lots of practice!

I was fortunate this day to watch and photograph as a Hooded Merganser pair took flight from the water. I missed most of the shots, but in this one I captured the male in focus. I wish I had framed the shot a little lower to include the entire reflection of the merganser, but I’m pleased to have captured it at all.

When visiting wetlands locations keep your eyes open for ducks or other wading birds. You may be given an opportunity to see (and practice photographing) birds in flight.