As flashy as a gadwall is plain, don't let the Hollywood looks and diminutive size fool you, hooded mergansers are intense. Essentially they are small ducks with teeth. Well, actually they have sawbills that allow them to catch their meals: fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects, which they find underwater by sight. They are great swimmers as Eliot and I observed the other day at Cove Lake.
These dynamos are fascinating to watch as they dive below the surface and disappear from sight, you never know where they'll pop up next. The one we watched made the gadwalls look sluggish and so duck-like.