Red-breasted merganser


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
very good

Photo credit: Jen Goellnitz under a Creative Commons licence from Flickr

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