Common merganser (Mergus merganser)

A large duck of rivers and lakes in forested areas. This species eats a wide range of aquatic prey like fishes, molluscs, crustaceans, insect larvae and amphibians. They build their nests in tree cavities hence its preferences for rivers and lakes in forested areas. This species is a partial migrant, leaving areas where rivers and lakes freeze and move to nearby areas.

How to Identify

This bird is very similar in appearance to the Red-breasted Merganser. A distinguished characteristic is the separation of head color and breast and neck color. The separation is a well defined line in both male and female.

Where and When to Spot

I observe this species frequently in Rapids Park Lachine.

Common Names

Common merganser

Gänsesäger (de)
Serreta grande (es)
Harle bièvre (fr)


Mergus merganser

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