Name: the red-breasted merganser (Mergus serrator) is a duck in the sawbill family. This group gets its name from the serrated edges on their beaks which help them to grip their prey.
Appearance: red-breasted mergansers have a distinctive spiky crest and a long, red beak with serrated edges. Males have dark green heads, white necks, and rust coloured breasts. Females have rusty heads and greyish bodies.
Size: they reach around 50 to 60 cm long with a wingspan of 70 to 85 cm.
Diet: red-breasted mergansers dive underwater for their food which is mainly made up of small fish as well as insects, crustaceans, and frogs.
Did you know: the fastest duck ever recorded was a red-breasted merganser which reached a top speed of 160 km per hour when being pursued by an aeroplane. This beat the previous record of 115 km per hour!
Location: they are found in freshwater lakes and rivers across northern North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia. Red-breasted mergansers are migratory and those breeding in the north often migrate south during the winter.
Where TO SEE red-breasted mergansers
According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see red-breasted mergansers in the following places:
|Place||Chance to see||User rating||No. reports|
|Isle of Mull
Photo credit: Jen Goellnitz under a Creative Commons licence from Flickr