Nesting habits of Hooded Mergansers Mergus cucullatus in northeastern Ontario

M L Mallory, H G Lumsden, R A Walton


We studied the nesting habits of Hooded Mergansers in northeastern Ontario. Twelve females exhibited vigorous nest defence from early incubation onwards; seven incubating females spent 85.3% of their day on the nest, taking an average of 4.7 recesses each day, each with an average duration of 60 minutes. They lost up to 16% body mass during incubation. Our results confirm earlier studies which suggested that interspecific nest parasitism is a common feature of Hooded Mergansers nesting biology.

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