29 August, 2009


Scientific Name: Mergus merganser

Population Estimate: 2M, Least Concern status

Range: Winters throughout much of US, excluding the Southeast. Summers throughout Canada. There is a year-round population in the western US, extending up the coast to Alaska.

Field Notes: A large, diving duck with a long, thin bill. Male breeding plumage is distinct with iridescent green / black head, white neck and sides, and black back. Females have rust-colored head and crest, white chest and brown / grey back. The white chin of the female Common Merganser can be used to differentiated it from the female Hooded Merganser or female Red-breasted Merganser. Juveniles look like females. Adult females will end up raising other broods so they form large groups in the summer.

Personal Notes: Formerly known as Common Merganser. 

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