HOODED MERGANSER Lophodytes cucullatus

Probably more closely related to Smew than to other Mergansers, another monotypic genus. Breeding over large temperate areas of the USA and southern Canada, it will often winter in those areas, but many birds are short to medium distance migrants, wintering as far south as the Mexican border. This has led to a number of records in Europe, personally I believe many to be escapes, but as it seems there is no real way to determine this, some at least will probably be genuine, including at least two females in England and several birds on Shetland. All birds here were taken in the USA.

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