Red-breasted Merganser

General description.

The “Red-breasted Merganser” male has interesting markings: gray sides flanking a dark back and shoulder and rusty breast. He fishes under water aided by the pointed bill lined with sharp, tooth-like projections.

Female appearance.

The female Merganser has the same whispy crest on a reddish-brown crown and the same sharp, pointed red bill. Her legs are also red. Breast is specked white leading to pure white belly. Her back and side feathers are shades of brown, and her cheeks and neck are rufous.

Breeding habits.

These ducks breed on wooded lakes and tundra ponds in Alaska, and across northern Canada to Newfoundland, and south to the Great Lakes.

Calls or song.

The "Red-breasted Merganser" is usually silent, but makes various croaking and grunting sounds during courtship.

Population and distribution.

During the winter, the “Red-breasted Merganser” moves to all three coasts.

Nesting habits.

The “Red-breasted Merganser” makes a down-lined depression, concealed under a bush or brush pile, and there she lays 8-10 olive bluff eggs.

Similar birds:

Smew Photo Smew
Common Merganser Photo Common Merganser
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