Project Noah

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

Join Project Noah Today

Common Merganser

Mergus merganser

Description:

The Common Merganser (North American) or Goosander (Eurasian) (Mergus merganser) is a large duck, of rivers and lakes of forested areas of Europe, northern and central Asia, and North America. It eats fish and nests in holes in trees. John James Audubon called this bird the "Buff-breasted Merganser" in his book The Birds of America. It is 58–72 cm (23–28 in) long with a 78–97 cm (31–38 in) wingspan, and a weight of 0.9–2.1 kg (2.0–4.6 lb); males average slightly larger than females but with some overlap. Like other species in the genus Mergus, it has a crest of longer head feathers, but these usually lie smoothly rounded behind the head, not normally forming an erect crest. Adult males in breeding plumage are easily distinguished, the body white with a variable salmon-pink tinge, the head black with an iridescent green gloss, the rump and tail grey, and the wings largely white on the inner half, black on the outer half. Females, and males in "eclipse" (non-breeding plumage, July to October) are largely grey, with a reddish-brown head, white chin, and white secondary feathers on the wing. Juveniles (both sexes) are similar to adult females but also show a short black-edged white stripe between the eye and bill. The bill and legs are red to brownish-red, brightest on adult males, dullest on juveniles.

Habitat:

sheltered saltwater lagoon

Notes:

Female merganser with two young

No species ID suggestions

1 Comment

Young mergansers..so cute! Alaska must be a paradise!

San Mateo, California, USA

Lat: 37.32, Long: -122.40

Spotted on Aug 6, 2012
Submitted on Aug 9, 2012

Reference

Related spottings

Red-breasted Merganser Common Merganser Common Merganser Red-breasted Merganser

Nearby spottings

Red-winged Blackbird Coast Garter Snake Townsend's Warbler pigface