Hoodwinked. “To be deceived. It actually derives from the practice of placing a hood over the head of a falcon in the Middle Ages when engaged in the sport of falconry. This was done in order to trick the falcon into believing it was nighttime, thus calming the bird down so that one could recover the prey from the bird's talons.” (source: Urban Dictionary). A new deception is taking over the bird photography community now. It is called “Hoodie Winked”.
The Hooded Merganser ducks are showing up all over Florida streams, rivers and a ponds. One of the most photogenic of the diving ducks, photographers all over are being deceived into thinking they can capture the perfect “Hoodie” photo. Hooded Mergansers are very animated, dramatic and fast. For years now I’ve tried to capture one of its iconic shake and flap photos where it sits up high on the water and flaps its wings. So far I have a side shot of a male rearing up and a back shot of a female. The male Hooded Merganser, when alarmed, will raise its white hood feathers in a display used to intimidate other rival ducks or let other Mergansers know something is amiss that they need to be aware of. The females raise their head feathers to attract the attention of the males, like showing off a new hair-doo. These diving duck’s antics are a sight to behold. Trying to capture that perfect photo has left countless photographers totally “Hoodie Winked”.
Undaunted by past frustrations, I plan to keep pushing that doohickey in the coming weeks until at last, one of these days, I will capture that perfect “Hoodie Winked” photo. Until then, you have a Blessed New Year. Harry