Common Mergansers, Mergus merganser, have a long slender appearance in flight. Incubation takes up to 35 days. In flight, both sexes show large white patches on the upperwings (larger in adult males). Common Mergansers dive underwater to catch fish. Female has gray body contrasting with cinnamon-red, crested head. Male and female. Male. I know that the Common Goldeneye is a first winter male because when he was swimming in the other direction I could see a smudgy loral spot … These are large, long-bodied ducks with thin, pointed wings. The back is black and the bill red. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Their liking for salmon smolts makes them unpopular with fisheries, but where unmolested they can become bold and tame. Our website content is available for all to use, but of course running our site has costs. They stay in these tight flocks to feed and court during the cold months. They nest in tree cavities in northern forests near rivers and lakes. We hope you will join the Association, you can do that HERE. Large duck with long, slender bill, typically seen on rivers. North America. This species is larger than the red-breasted merganser, and is one of the largest of our ducks. These ducks live mainly on freshwater rivers and lakes. Common Mergansers are found throughout the northern hemisphere, and in winter can be seen in large flocks, sometimes of thousands of birds. Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl(Order: Anseriformes, Family:Anatidae). Fairly common along freshwater lakes and rivers; rarer in saltwater or brackish water. Warm reddish head has ragged crest, white chin, and sharp border with white chest. They are rare in the ocean, but they sometimes use saltwater estuaries in winter. Common Mergansers are streamlined ducks that float gracefully down small rivers or shallow shorelines. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. The young leave their nest hole within a day or so of hatching. In winter, mergansers form large flocks on inland reservoirs and rivers. Nest dumping, where a duck lays in another’s nest is not uncommon. Male and female. Smaller than a Canada Goose; slightly larger than a Mallard. Males with Mallards. Initially diving for aquatic insects, they switch over to fish at about 12 days old. Each measures approximately 8” from Bill to tail, 3 5/8” tall and 3” wide. The drakes show no white on the head. Females can be confused with Red-breasted Mergansers – their greater size and shaggy rather than spikey crest help separate them – while the drake’s creamy-white breast and underparts, contrasting with a bottle-green head, make him … Bill broader-based than in. In flight, both sexes have dark outer wings with white patch on secondary flight feathers. Guarding the nest, this dad was forced to paddle against unusually rough water at the creek. In migration and winter, they mix with other fish-eating, diving ducks such as Bufflehead, goldeneyes, and other species of mergansers. Large duck with long body and long, straight bill. Females can be confused with Red-breasted Mergansers – their greater size and shaggy rather than spikey crest help separate them – while the drake’s creamy-white breast and underparts, contrasting with a bottle-green head, make him unmistakeable. All are specialist fish eaters. After the chicks leave the nest in summer, the female stays with them as they grow up while males gather in flocks. Common Merganser drake — Pinola Conservancy Their liking for salmon smolts makes them unpopular with fisheries, but where unmolested they can become bold and tame. Though flightless, ducklings leap from the nest entrance and tumble to the forest floor. See more images of this species in Macaulay Library. Gray body and reddish head with ragged crest, white chin, and sharply defined border with white chest. Adult males are crisply patterned with gleaming white bodies and dark, iridescent-green heads for most of the year. Fairly common on freshwater, especially rivers. May be seen with large numbers of ducklings in summer. The elegant gray-bodied females have rich, cinnamon heads with a short crest. They will nest on the ground but nest boxes are preferred, and here they lay their clutch of 9–10 eggs. It is one of the last to migrate south, and is more common than the red-breasted merganser on inland waters. Common Merganser Identification. In Europe they nest as far south as the Swiss lakes, but they are principally a bird of the northern forests, favouring fast-flowing rivers for feeding, roosting on nearby lakes at night. Large duck with long body and long, straight bill. Excellent detail, all original, no touch up. Three races of Common Merganser are recognised: The Common Merganser, often called the Goosander in Europe, is the largest of the sawbilled ducks. Female/immature male. Male also shows white on leading edge of wing. I found it interesting to see a first winter drake Common Goldeneye swimming with a first winter Common Merganser and decided to photograph them. Mostly white, with green head and orange-red bill. Females and immatures are gray-bodied with a white chest and rusty-cinnamon heads. Otherwise, these are in excellent condition. The males are striking with clean white bodies, dark green heads, and a slender, serrated red bill. Registered charity number 263156. You can see some minor paint loss on the tips of the male ducks back head area. Or will you help us continue to improve our content by making a DONATION? From late summer to mid-autumn, males wear a nonbreeding plumage that looks very similar to female plumage. Though Common Mergansers adjust well to captivity, they are not popular in collections — they readily snatch and eat small ducklings of other species. Common Mergansers prefer to nest in hollow trees. Mostly white, with green head and orange-red bill. Their bills are straight and narrow, unlike the wide, flat bill of a “typical” duck. Often rests on boulders or logs in midstream. Download all free or royalty-free photos and vectors. The mother protects the downies and leads them to water, where they are able to catch all their own food. Large duck with long, slender bill. Your Common Merganser Drake stock images are ready. The Common Merganser is on the left and the Common Goldeneye is on the right in this photo. Females have shaggy crests on the backs of their heads.
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