Common Merganser

General description.

The "Common Merganser" is a large "diving duck", sometimes known as the "fish duck" because his slender bill is serrated for grasping swimming prey. These ducks are often seen facing upstream while diving.

Female appearance.

The female "Common Merganser" is gray with a reddish-brown "crested head". Her breast is white.

Breeding habits.

Pairs form in late winter. Preferring wooded rivers and ponds, The "Common Merganser"They breed across Canada from eastern Alaska to Newfoundland, and south in the mountains to California, the Great Lakes and New England. They prefer wooded rivers and ponds.

Calls or song.

Generally silent, the "Common Merganser" produces several calls during courtship: a faint, high-pitched, bell-like note; a twanging "uig-a", and in flight, "kragagagagaga".

Population and distribution.

The "Common Merganser" winters mainly on lakes and tidal rivers in the south.

Nesting habits.

These ducks make a down-lined nest in the cavity of a tree or an abandoned hawk's nest. The female lays 9-12 ivory eggs.
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