Hooded Merganser female 2/12/18

Hoodies are my favorite of the 3 sawbills, all mergansers being so named for their serrated bills. They pass through tidal marshes and inlets late fall and early spring while their breeding habitats are icebound. But some winter at the coast, waiting for the spring thaw to have first pick of the best freshwater territories farther inland. Females like this one have rusty heads that resemble a thick paintbrush, while male hoods are dress-white and trimmed in black.

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