common merganser (Mergus merganser)
CONFIRMATION STATUS: Confirmed.
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
Immature similar to adult female, often with a less-distinct chin patch
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
Red-brown head meets pale breast in crisp line of division
Well-defined white chin
White breast and belly
Pale gray body plumage
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.
Breeding Habitat:Wetland-open water
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.
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
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.
Sp - Spring: March, April, May
Su - Summer: June, July, August
Fall: September, October, November Acc
Winter: December, January, February
Crooked Run Valley