Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

Above and below: A pair of Common Mergansers (drake in foreground) on the Susquehanna River, Harford Co., Maryland (2/18/2007). If you look closely, you can see that this species has a serrated bill--perfect for catching slippery fish.

Below: A drake Common Merganser in Cecil Co., Maryland (2/20/2011).

A drake Common Merganser in Cecil Co., Maryland (2/20/2011). Photo by Bill Hubick.

Below three: A drake Common Merganser on the Susquehanna River, Harford Co., Maryland (2/18/2007).

Below: A hen Common Merganser on the Susquehanna River, Harford Co., Maryland (2/18/2007).

Below: A hen Common Merganser in Cecil County, Maryland (2/2006).


Comments:  Here in the Mid-Atlantic, this diving duck is a fairly common winter resident. It is one of the latest waterfowl to arrive each winter, and can most often be found on large bodies of freshwater, especially reservoirs. The largest of the three North American mergansers, the Common Merganser is an expert diver that feeds on small fish, mollusks, and crustaceans. It is also the only North American merganser in which the female is crested and the male is not. The male has striking plumage: a white body, black head and back, and a bright red/orange bill.


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