RED-BREASTED MERGANSER

A large diving duck with a long thin bill, the Red-breasted Merganser is found in large lakes, rivers and the ocean. It prefers salt water more than the other two species of merganser.

Point Pelee National Park is well known for large concentrations of Red-breasted Mergansers, numbering in the tens of thousands in both spring and fall migration.  The best viewing area is from the Tip.  The Red-breasted Merganser can usually be found from late fall to late spring in areas where there is open water.

Adult Description
Large, thin diving duck.
Long, thin, orange to red-orange bill.
Shaggy crest on back of head.
White patches in wing visible in flight.
Male with gray sides, dark reddish chest, white neck, and iridescent green head.

Male Description
Breeding (Alternate) Plumage: Head iridescent greenish black. Neck white. Chest deep rusty speckled with black. Back dark with long white patch along wings. Tail gray. Outer part of wings black. Bill scarlet-orange. Eyes red.
Nonbreeding (Basic) Plumage: Head rusty brown with long, ragged double crest. Chin pale or gray. Breast, back, wings and tail slaty gray. Belly and flanks white. Bill scarlet-orange. White patch in wing visible in flight. Like female, except has less white on chin, darker back, and wing with larger white patch.

Female Description
Head rusty brown with long, ragged, double crest. Chin dark or pale, gradually merging with chest color. Breast, back, wings and tail slaty gray. Belly and flanks white. Bill scarlet-orange. White patch in wing visible in flight.

Immature Description
Immature resembles adult female.

*Image and description were sourced from: www.allaboutbirds.org


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