Hooded Mergansers will nest in appropriately sized boxes, particularly if you live near wetlands. You can get construction plans for building the right kind of nest box for many species from our NestWatch project. If your box does not have nest material from a previous resident, you can add wood shavings to entice a new resident.
Find This Bird
Hooded Mergansers are fairly common on small ponds and streams across their breeding range. In fall through spring, head to unfrozen lakes or shallow, protected saltwater bays and look for them mixed in flocks with other small divers like Bufflehead and Ruddy Ducks. Pay attention for flying ducks too—a fast series of truncated whistles from high overhead may signal the rapid wingbeats of a commuting merganser.