General description.

The Smew is usually found in Eurasia, but during the autumn it can be found in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Smaller than other mergansers, the Smew is more duck like than other mergansers as well. The male Smew is the whitest duck in North America. This bird can most often be found in the water searching for fish and insects to eat. The Smew tends to nest in cavities in trees by water. The female lines the nest with down plucked from her own body.

Female appearance.

The female Smew is smaller than the male. She has a brown head and white throat rather than the white head and throat of the male. Her body is gray instead of white like the male.

Juvenile appearance.

Similar to female, but with less brown on the head and more black on the rump.

Flight pattern.

Direct. When in groups, flies in V formation or straight line formation.

Breeding habits.


Calls or song.


Population and distribution.


Nesting habits.

The Smew lays 6-9 cream eggs in a cavity in a tree.
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