Without much doubt, Hooded Mergansers are the most attractive of the various merganser species.
So for this painting, I pulled another old photo from a photo album. This photo was taken by my old friend Richard Inman at Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge, near Socorro, New Mexico. He sent me the photo to use as a reference, in case I ever wanted to use it in a painting. I've been meaning to do so for about 12 years.
First I sketched the bird on an 11x14" gessoboard. Then I roughed in some gray/green water.