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Content tagged with "gamebird"

Photo of a male common merganser floating on water, eating a fish.

Common Merganser Eating Fish

Common mergansers forage on rivers and lakes for fish, frogs, and aquatic invertebrates. They hunt by sight and dive completely underwater to snag their prey. The serrated bill helps them grab slippery fish. Their diet of fish makes their flesh taste “rank and strong,” so duck hunters rarely shoot mergansers.

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Photo of a female common merganser floating on water.

Common Merganser Female

The female common merganser has a gray body with a rusty head that is sharply defined against the white neck. Note the distinctive slender, slightly hooked shape of a merganser's bill.

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Photo of a male common merganser floating on water.

Common Merganser Male

Male common mergansers have a green head, a mostly white body, and a black and gray back. In Missouri, this species is a common transient and winter resident (uncommon in southeast), and an accidental summer visitor.

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Photo of two male common mergansers flying low over water.

Common Mergansers in Flight

The breeding territory of common mergansers lies mainly in Canada. In Missouri, we most often see them in spring and fall, as they migrate, and as they overwinter here.

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Photo of Eurasian collared-dove walking on grass

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Streptopelia decaocto
The Eurasian collared-dove was introduced in the Bahamas and has rapidly spread throughout most of the United States. At first glance, it looks like a chunky, pale gray mourning dove.

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Photo of Eurasian collared-dove perched on a stump

Eurasian Collared-Dove

The Eurasian collared-dove has a black crescent “collar” on the upper back (not a complete "ring"). The song is a three-parted “coo-coo-cook” or “coo-COO-coo,” often repeated incessantly; the call is a raspy, nasal, descending “heeeewww.”

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Photo of Eurasian collared-dove walking on grass

Eurasian Collared-Dove

The Eurasian collared-dove was introduced in the Bahamas and has rapidly spread throughout most of the United States. At first glance, it looks like a chunky, pale gray mourning dove.

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Photo of three female northern pintails floating on water.

Female Northern Pintails Floating on Water

Like other dabblers, pintails forage near the surface in shallow water, sifting mud through their bills to strain out aquatic vegetation, sedges, seeds, and invertebrates.

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Photo of a pair of gadwall floating on water.

Gadwall

Anas strepera
The male gadwall is a rather drab-looking duck with a black rear end and a white speculum (wing patch). This dabbling duck is a common migrant in Missouri.

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Photo of a female gadwall floating on water.

Gadwall Female

To separate female gadwall from female mallards, note the gadwall’s white speculum (wing patch) and belly; also, its bill is thinner than the mallard’s and it has an orangish stripe along the edge.

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