Species in This Family. Large duck with long, slender bill. Smaller than a Canada Goose; slightly larger than a Mallard. Click on an image to compare. Short-distance to medium-distance migrant. Females have shaggy crests on the backs of their heads. After the chicks leave the nest in summer, the female stays with them as they grow up while males gather in flocks. Habi­tat. Fairly common on freshwater, especially rivers. As in other birds with the character, the salmon-pink tinge shown variably by males is probably diet-related, obtained from the carotenoidpigments present in some crusta… Female/immature male. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Large duck with long, slender bill, typically seen on rivers. Hooded Merganser. They nest in tree cavities in northern forests near rivers and lakes. The back is black and the bill red. Common Merganser. Their bills are straight and narrow, unlike the wide, flat bill of a “typical” duck. May be seen with large numbers of ducklings in summer. Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl(Order: Anseriformes, Family:Anatidae). Often rests on boulders or logs in midstream. Females and immatures are gray-bodied with a white chest and rusty-cinnamon heads. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. These ducks live mainly on freshwater rivers and lakes. Common Merganser Identification. Mostly white, with green head and orange-red bill. In flight, both sexes have dark outer wings with white patch on secondary flight feathers. Resident in Northern New England, southern Ontario and Quebec, and in the western states. Male also shows white on leading edge of wing. Warm reddish head has ragged crest, white chin, and sharp border with white chest. Large duck with long body and long, straight bill. In addition to fish, they take a wide range of other aquatic prey, such as molluscs, crustaceans, worms, insect larvae, and amphibians; more rarely, small mammals and birds may be taken. Common Merganser Range Map. More to Read. Females often lay eggs in each others' nests. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Gray body and reddish head with ragged crest, white chin, and sharply defined border with white chest. Common Mergansers are often the last waterfowl migrant to move south in the fall and the first to return north in the spring. From late summer to mid-autumn, males wear a nonbreeding plumage that looks very similar to female plumage. Large duck with long body and long, straight bill. Incubation is … Finds most food by sight; may ... Eggs. Hooded Merganser. These are large, long-bodied ducks with thin, pointed wings. Fairly common along freshwater lakes and rivers; rarer in saltwater or brackish water. forages by diving and swimming underwater, propelled by its feet, stroking with both feet in unison. Male. Male and female. Pale buff. Compare with Similar Species. Mostly white, with green head and orange-red bill. Breeds from eastern Alaska to Newfoundland on wooded rivers, ponds, and lakes. 8-11, sometimes 6-13. Ducks, Geese, and Waterfowl(Order: Anseriformes, Family:Anatidae). Red-breasted Merganser. Explore Birds of the World to learn more. Feeding Behavior. In migration and winter, they mix with other fish-eating, diving ducks such as Bufflehead, goldeneyes, and other species of mergansers. Adult males are crisply patterned with gleaming white bodies and dark, iridescent-green heads for most of the year. Like the other mergansers, these piscivorous ducks have serrated edges to their bills to help them grip their prey, so they are often known as "sawbills". All North American populations migrate, with coastal birds usually moving shorter distances and interior birds moving farther. In winter, mergansers form large flocks on inland reservoirs and rivers. Red-breasted Merganser. Female has gray body contrasting with cinnamon-red, crested head. Males with Mallards. Common Mergansers dive underwater to catch fish. Com­mon mer­gansers pre­fer to live in wooded areas along streams and rivers or near small, … Male and female. In flight, both sexes show large white patches on the upperwings (larger in adult males). See more images of this species in Macaulay Library. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. They stay in these tight flocks to feed and court during the cold months. Range and Habitat Common Merganser: Common throughout much of North America. They are rare in the ocean, but they sometimes use saltwater estuaries in winter.