common merganser (Mergus merganser)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.

 

IDENTIFICATION

  • Length: 18 inches Wingspan: 37 inches

  • Large, sleek diving duck

  • Long, pointed bill with serrated edges

  • Red bill is thick at base, tapering towards tip

  • Sleek, tapered crest, more obvious on females than on males

  • Brown eye

  • White secondaries

  • Immature similar to adult female, often with a less-distinct chin patch

Adult male:

  • Greenish-black head and upper neck

  • White breast, flanks and belly

  • Black back and upperwing coverts with white scapulars

  • White secondary coverts crossed with indistinct dark bar

  • Alternate plumage worn from fall through early summer

  • Male in basic eclipse plumage similar to adult female

Adult female:

  • Red-brown head meets pale breast in crisp line of division

  • Well-defined white chin

  • White breast and belly

  • Pale gray body plumage

Similar species:

Adult male in alternate plumage is somewhat similar to male red-breasted
merganser but has white breast and flanks, and a less obvious crest. Female,
immature and eclipse male distinguished from similarly-plumaged red-
breasted mergansers by sharply-defined chin, reddish head contrasting
with white breast, paler gray plumage, sleeker crest and larger bill. In
winter, common mergansers, unlike red-breasted mergansers, are general-
ly found in freshwater habitats.

 

LIFE HISTORY

Migration Status:N/A
Breeding Habitat:Wetland-open water
Nest Location:N/A
Nest Type:Cavity
Clutch Size:6-17
Length of Incubation: 28-35 days
Days to Fledge:65-85
Number of Broods:1
Diet: Mostly fish; lesser quantities of aquatic invertebrates

 

SKY MEADOWS DISTRIBUTION/SEASONAL OCCURRENCE

 

Relative abundance and seasonal occurrence are indicated in red below.

 

Relative abundance
     C - Common: Likely to be present in good numbers in appropriate habitat and season.
     U - Uncommon: May be present in appropriate habitat and season, often in low
            numbers.
     O - Occassional: Found in appropriate habitat perhaps only a few times per season,
            sometimes low numbers.
     R - Rare: May not be recorded every year.
     Acc - Accidental: Recorded once or twice, may not be expected again for a long time.

 

Seasonal Occurrence
      Sp - Spring: March, April, May
      Su - Summer: June, July, August
      Fall: September, October, November
Acc

      Winter: December, January, February

 

 

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