The unusual color pattern of this Hooded Merganser would seem to indicate a male bird as it transitions from juvenile to adult plumage. The rear of the crest still has the coloration of a juvenile, but shows some early white highlights. The face and neck are dark brown, instead of the jet black of an adult. The white chest is still mottled, but the adult-like pattern is clear.
Male Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adultMale Hooded Merganser in transtitional plumage; molting from juvenile to adult