Hooded Merganser, California
The male Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatusis) is a colorful bird, with a beautiful black and white crest, a bright golden-yellow eye, and rust colored flanks. Hooded Mergansers are found across much of the United States and spend the winter along the California coast as well as the southeastern U.S. Despite being the smallest type of merganser, Hooded Mergansers are one of the fastest-flying ducks. Hooded Mergansers tend to prefer small, freshwater bodies, such as ponds, lakes, and rivers.