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 Hooded Merganser

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common Transient

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Hooded Merganser.

Use the links below to view the Hooded Merganser reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View Hooded Merganser sightings.
Hooded Merganser Archives Reports
Fall 2003 163
Spring 2003 326
Winter 02-03 37
Fall 2002 460
Summer 2002 16
Spring 2002 357
Winter 01-02 120
Fall 2001 184
Summer 2001 7
Spring 2001 184
Winter 00-01 48
Fall 2000 120
Summer 2000 3
Spring 2000 314
Winter 00-99 32
Fall 1999 337
Spring/Summer 1999 9

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Hooded Merganser

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the Hooded Merganser
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
Hooded Merganser
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Lophodytes cucullatus (Linnaeus)
Hooded Merganser

Uncommon transient, and local summer resident. A few winter locally in southern counties.

First recorded for Michigan by Sager (1839: 417).

The species was considered an abundant transient in Michigan by Gibbs (1879: 495) and A. J. Cook (1893a; 38), and a common one by Barrows (1912: 76). It is now apparently common only in the fall, and only at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, and about Wintergreen Lake, Kalamazoo County, where sizable flocks are seen on occasion.

SPRING.-Since a few winter in southern localities, it is not always easy to determine the date of transients' arrival, but noticeable movement .occurs from mid-March in southern counties, and from about the first of April in the Upper Peninsula. The number noted in a day has usually been under 20.

Lower Peninsula.-For the Toledo-Erie marsh area, L. W. Campbell (1940: 201) gave March 15 to April 16 as the average period of main flight. In the Detroit area, Swales reported the species almost every spring from the middle of March until late April or the first days of May, usually 1 or 2 individuals at a time, but on May 4, 1903, as many as 10. The species appears frequently by mid-March in the Ann Arbor region, usually in small numbers, but a group of 20 was observed on March 26, 1939. At Wintergreen Lake, Kalamazoo County, there are usually smaller numbers in spring than in fall, according to Pirnie, but he recorded a flock of 50 there on March 2, 1933.

Upper Peninsula.-In the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula, the species appears rarely in late March, usually in early April. In Schoolcraft County, Christofferson saw a pair on March 29 and 30,1938, at Blaney, and 10 pairs on April 8, 1935, at Seney; he recorded 15 of the species on April 26, 1928, at Munuscong Bay, Chippewa County; during April, 1935, he noted a total of 60 at Blaney. On Isle Royale, Laurence Dayton recorded the species on May 3, 1937.

SUMMER.-Eggs have been found from late April; young from early June.

Lower Peninsula.-A few of the species summer at the Erie marsh, Mon- roe County, but have not yet been proved to nest (L. W. Campbell, 1940:51). In Jackson County, Fargo observed an adult with 7 young on May 30,1923. In Convis Township, Calhoun County, Walkinshaw found 7 fledglings on June 3, 1937. Near Saranac, lonia County, F. H. Lord collected a set of 11 eggs (U.S.N.M., fide Swales, notes) on April 22, 1894, and about May 1, 1893, found a nest with 7 eggs (Lord, 1894: 48). The last 2 records are perhaps included among the egg dates for Michigan given by Bent (1923:30) . Pirnie writes that a few of the species have been seen in summer on the Kalamazoo River and on tributaries of the Muskegon River; he collected near Muskegon an addled egg from a nest occupied in July, 1930. At Sand Point, Huron County, N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 278) noted an individual on June 24, and a small flock on August 12, 1908. In 1940 at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, G. A. Ammann found a female with a brood of 9 half-grown young (1 young collected), on June 13, and an- other brood of 6 nearly full-grown young on July 18. In Crawford County and eastward, during the summer and early fall of 1903, N. A. "Wood and Frothingham (1905: 45-46) noted a number of adults, of which they collected some (U.M.M.Z.), and a"w young by June 30. Blanchard and Nelson .'MS of 1937) reported an individual near Cheboygan on August 19,1933.

Upper Peninsula.-In Chippewa County, the Hooded Merganser has been recorded in summer on Drummond Island, where specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were collected July 30,1938, and at Whitefish Point, where specimens (U.M.M.Z.) were also collected, and N. A. Wood (1914: 60) found it the "most common Merganser" of the area. In Luce County, it has been noted along the Tahquamenon River, below Newberry (in numbers, during August and September, according to Pirnie, 1935: 174; also near Newberry in the last week of May, 1934, 2 adults were seen behaving as if young were nearby, according to Walkinshaw), and at McMillan (2 seen June 3, 1934, by Bryens and Walkinshaw). Christofferson observed the species during the summer of 1932 at Blaney, Schoolcraft County. Northward, at Seney, a number have been found: a nest with 6 eggs on May 20 (1939, by H. L. Bradley), a female with 6 young on June 10 (1938, by Brodkorb), and 10 broods on a brood survey during the summer of 1939 at the Seney Migratory Waterfowl Refuge by Bradley. Broods were reported on June 15 (1916) at Whitefish Lake, Alger County (N. A. Wood, 1918: 4), and on July 20 in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County (S. S. Gregory, Jr., 1929: 173); broods were also reported on June 4 (1937) on the west branch of the Escanaba River, Dickinson County (female and 9 ducklings noted by F. M. Baumgartner), and on July 19 and 20 (1904) in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County (N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary, 1906: 113). On Isle Royale the species has apparently been rare in summer; it was observed on only one (1905) of the several Museum of Zoology expeditions, when an individual was seen for several days in late July, and an adult female with 6 young on July 27 and 28 (McCreary, 1909: 82;Peet, 1909: 344-45; and N. A. Wood, notes).

FALL.-Migration, during which as many as 200 or 300 of the species have occasionally been reported in a day, is principally from mid-October to mid-November.

Upper Peninsula.-A few are found in fall in the Huron Mountain region, Marquette County; Christy listed the species there on September 30, 1927, and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929:173; and notes), reported an individual shot on October 3 [year?], and another on October 7 (1930). At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, the main migration occurs during the last 2 weeks of October and the first week of November; Christofferson observed 50 of the species there on October 15, 1936, 150 on October 16, 1936, 300 on October 20,1936, 300 on November 6,1938, and 200 on November 7, 1938; he found stragglers there until mid-November, November 12 being a frequent latest date. Specimens were obtained in eastern Chippewa County from October 19 to 23 (Pirnie, 1935: 314).

Lower Peninsula.-Small flocks were seen through the third week of October at Hubbard Lake, Alcona County (J. Claire Wood, 1913: 14), and several specimens were collected by Max M. Peet at Houghton Lake, Eos- common County, through November 13 (1938). From Saginaw Bay, specimens (U.M.M.Z.) have been secured through the first and second weeks of .November (Pirnie, 1935: 314). Pirnie reported a few stragglers at Wintergreen Lake, Kalamazoo County, before October 15, the principal flight between this date and November 10, and usually small numbers until the end of November. The greatest numbers he reported were 21 on October 17, 1940, 30 to 50 on various dates between October 19 (1939) and November 19 (1940), 80 on November 13, 1938. A few of the species pass through the Ann Arbor region in fall, mainly in November. One was ob- served there on December 2, 1928, by N. A. Wood, and 1 (U.M.M.Z.) was collected there on December 4, 1927, by Van Tyne. On November 19, 1938, R. E. Olsen found 52 on a small pond near Pontiac, Oakland County; and about Detroit, from 1901 to 1912, Swales (1904o: 82; and notes) recorded the species almost every fall, from early October to December 3, but chiefly in November. L. W. Campbell (1940: 201) gave November 3 to December 2 as the average period for main flight through the Toledo-Erie marsh area.

WINTER.-Barrows' statement (1912: 76) that the species "often re- mains through the winter wherever open running water furnishes a supply of food,'' suggests that he had winter records from well north in Michigan. But there are none in the Museum of Zoology that indicate wintering north of Ottawa County. L. W. Campbell (1940: 51) has found as many as 60 and 75 of the species during late January in the Erie marsh, Monroe County; and R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw a few at Gibraltar Bay and at the lower end of Grosse Ile, Wayne County, on January 31 (1 in 1937) and February 10 (3 in 1935). In the Ann Arbor region, several were ob- served in January and February: 1 by N. A. Wood, on January 20, 1929;5 by R. E. Olsen, on January 24, 1932; and 1 by Walter Koelz on February 6, 1917. In the Battle Creek area, the species was noted (usually in numbers under 12) on most of the recent Christmas-season counts (Brigham and others, 1941: 120-21), and through January 8 (1939, by Walkinshaw). At Grand Haven, Ottawa County, it was listed by Walkinshaw on February 11, 1940.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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