21st December 1957 was the date that the first Hooded Merganser turned up in the Province. It was found on Acton Lake Co.Armagh and it is probably one of our most controversial records. The identification is not a problem, but were they orginate from certainly is.
Hooded Mergansers are regularly kept in wildfowl collections for obvious reasons, so trying to differentiate between a genuine wild bird and an escaped \ captive one is very difficult for any bird committee. Having said that they do migrate down the eastern states of North America and any bird doing that surely have a chance of getting blown of course and landing in Britain/Ireland. Other North American wildfowl regularly turn up without ever being questioned, so was the 1957 record a wild bird? Who knows, lets give it the benefit of the doubt and say it was. It would take another 50 years before a HM was accepted onto the British List when in 2008 the BOU decided that birds which turned up on Outer Hebrides(2000) Northumberland (2002) and Shetland (2006) were thought to be of wild origin.