Common Merganser: Dr J Murray Speirs

Common Merganser (male)

If you see a long, low, slim duck with an impossibly large brook of young hurrying along a rocky shoreline in summer, it is likely to be this species. Aggressive females “kidnap” youngsters from less aggressive mothers, so that broods of 30 or more are accumulated.

Common Merganser (female)

At most localities and in most seasons this is the common merganser in Ontario, although the Red-breasted Merganser may outnumber it at the height of their spring and fall migrations.

Common Mergansers Ashbridge’s Bay Park: Photo: Judy-Ann Cazemier

The long, low profile and “sawbill” beak identify it as a merganser. females look a good deal like female Red-breasted Mergansers but are somewhat larger, have a less shaggy crest and may be distinguished by the round white spot on the chin, contrasting with the reddish head and neck.

Common merganser (female)

Males lack the shaggy crest of the Red-breasted Merganser and show more white when resting on the water. In spring the white breast is suffused with a salmon pink “blush”.

Common Merganser (male)

Common Merganser family

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s