The Eurasian Common Merganser (Mergus merganser merganser) is a freshwater bird – a large duck. It is also known as the Goosander or a Sawbill.
The Eurasian Common Merganser has a whitish-cream body with a salmon-pink tinge. Its head is black with an iridescent green sheen. It has a crest, but it usually lies flat, and is not often raised. Its rump and tail are grey, and its wings are white on the inner half and black on the outer half. Its beak and legs are red to brownish-red. The female is mainly grey with a reddish-brown head, white chin, and white feathers on its wings.
It measures 58-72 centimetres (23-28 inches) long, with a wingspan of 78-97 centimetres (31-38 inches).
The Common Merganser is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. The Eurasian Common Merganser is native to northern Europe and northern Asia. It prefers rivers and lakes in forested areas. It likes freshwater, but it will also live in saltwater lagoons.
The Eurasian Common Merganser is partially migratory.
It eats fish. It dives into the water to catch fish in its beak. Its beak has serrated edges, that looks like a saw, to help it grip the slippery fish. It also eats snails, crustaceans, worms, insect larvae, and amphibians, such as frogs, toads, and newts.
It nests in holes in trees. The female lays 6–17 white to yellowish eggs. The ducklings are taken by their mother in her beak to the river or lake immediately after hatching, where they feed on freshwater insects and small fish fry. The ducklings gain all of their flight feathers after 60–70 days.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM