Estimated Wild Population
Hooded mergansers are sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females differ in appearance. Females have a brown body, a white underside, and a light brown crest that extends from the back of their head. Males look similar during non-breeding season, except for their yellow plumage, but during breeding season, they turn black with white stripes near their chest and tail.
Interesting Fact 1
Hooded mergansers have a nictitating membrane, a transparent eyelid that protects their eyes and enables them to see better while diving underwater, which helps with hunting.
Interesting Fact 2
Within 24 hours of hatching, they can dive and feed themselves, although they remain with their mother for another five weeks.
Interesting Fact 3
During breeding season, males develop a white crest on the back of their head that is prominently spread and raised during courtship.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.