August 2017

Vol. 45, No. 4

The Increase in Wintering Hooded Mergansers in New England from 1986 to 2015 as Recorded by the Christmas Bird Counts

Steve Davis

Hooded Merganser. Photograph © Shawn P. Carey.

In my experience, Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) are much easier to find in southern New England than they were 30 years ago. A quick look at the National Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) numbers supported this observation, so I decided to do a more comprehensive analysis of the New England CBC Hooded Merganser data from the last 30 years to see if the quick look and the personal feeling were supported by the data. I found that the data indeed show that the numbers of Hooded Mergansers have increased in all six New England states. I also did a detailed analysis of the Hooded Merganser data from Massachusetts to obtain a more comprehensive view of this increase.

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