THE NATURAL WORLD OF SOUTHERN VANCOUVER ISLAND THROUGH THE LENS OF CAPTAIN YVES- PART 8
Perhaps less of a hood more of a mohawk? This species of duck is sexually dimorphic, the female (left) has a dark to light brown crest while, the male (right) has a striking black and white crest.
The Hooded Merganser is the smallest of the three North American Mergansers. The other two being, the Common Merganser and the Red Breasted Merganser.
Mergansers visit Victoria during the Winter months.
They dive for their food and feast mainly on, fish, aquatic insects and small crustaceans like crayfish.
Cracking the code to being the ultimate duck predator, Hooded Mergansers have a few cool adaptations:
- They can change the refractive properties of their eyes to improve their underwater vision.
- They have an extra eyelid, called a “nictitating membrane,” which is a transparent eyelid of sorts and helps protect the eye during swimming, like a pair of goggles. Some sharks also have this adaption!