Hunting For Hooded Mergansers
Male Hooded Merganser

Hunting For Hooded Mergansers

During the winter I love to go hunting for Hooded Mergansers with my camera. They are some of the most interesting ducks on the pond. The males sport amazing brown, black and white coloring and both the males and females have a fun spiky hairdo.

One place I often find them are in the former water hazards on the now defunct Lake Ballinger Golf Course. The former course is now Lake Ballinger Park and I found these Hooded Mergansers there a few weeks ago. The duck at the top of the post is a male and the ONE below is a female.

A photo of a female Hooded Merganser at Lake Ballinger Park in Mountlake Terrace, WA.
Female Hooded Merganser

The ducks are pretty nervous so you have to sneak up on them and try to stay hidden while photographing. Fortunately the old golf course water hazards they hang out in are surrounded by bushes so you can often find a natural blind to conceal yourself in. Here’s a post from last winter with some more shots of the ducks. I’ll certainly be back out there over the coming months for some more hunting for Hooded Mergansers.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I have some Merganzers on my pond…one female, four males, one male one female showed up first and then a few days later the rest of them came. I suppose they are fighting over her because there’s a lot of action. So…my house is probably 120 yards from the pond…a bit of a stretch with either long lens 100/600 tamron or 100/500 canon. I have a gazeebo at the pond which is 20 feet from the water. If I went down while it is still dark and wait for sunrise will I bother them less than if I walk down there during the day?

  2. Hi Vali. The Hooded Mergansers that I have photographed seem to be pretty nervous about people so I typically try to photograph them from an opening in the grass around the pond, etc. (Sneak up and try to stay hidden.) Maybe you could set up a photo blind in your gazebo so the ducks would have a difficult time seeing you? Mike

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