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Hooded Merganser Brace


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The pond behind my house in the Charleston, S.C. area doesn’t have many duck visitors but today a brace of five Hooded Mergansers spent some time here. At first I thought these were all females, but some research revealed that non-breeding males look this way. I’m thinking the ones with the solid dark bills are the males and the ones with the yellowish lower bill are females. The second photo shows the two types. Am I right or wrong from the jump. Also, if they are non-breeding males are they juveniles who by next year will be rocking the Hoodies distinctive big black and white heads? Thank you. 

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5 minutes ago, Jefferson Shank said:

He's asking whether they are nonbreeding males or females..

Sincere apologies to the OP, the phone rang before I had read the whole post - it was the reference to "a brace" that caught my attention.

I believe the OP is correct about his IDs.

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13 minutes ago, cccougar said:

 I’m thinking the ones with the solid dark bills are the males and the ones with the yellowish lower bill are females.

Yes

Also, if they are non-breeding males are they juveniles who by next year will be rocking the Hoodies distinctive big black and white heads?

Yes

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Oh good, sounds like I’m correct on the non-breeding male part. It did seem odd if they were all females. So brace is just two? How about raft, paddling and flush as collectives? These terms are all from whatbird.com. 

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28 minutes ago, cccougar said:

Oh good, sounds like I’m correct on the non-breeding male part.

I jumped in way too soon because of your reference to a brace and my phone call. I am fairly sure you have immature males and adult females here.

I am also fairly sure adults should be in breeding plumage now.

Edited by RobinHood
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