Search

Content tagged with "merganser"

Photo of a male common merganser floating on water.

Common Merganser

Mergus merganser
Like our other mergansers, the common merganser has a long, slender, serrated bill and dives underwater for fish. This species, however, has only a short head crest and has unique color patterns.

Read more

Photo of a female common merganser, closeup on head and front.

Common Merganser

Like our other mergansers, the common merganser has a long, slender, serrated bill and dives underwater for fish. This species, however, has only a short head crest and has unique color patterns.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

Photo of two female common mergansers standing and sitting on pond ice.

Common Mergansers (Female)

Common mergansers have a long, slender, serrated, red or orange bill with a wide base. Mergansers are divers, and the legs are far back on the body; on land, the posture is upright. The rusty heads and gray bodies identify these as females.

Read more

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.

Read more

Photo of a hooded merganser pair floating on water.

Hooded Merganser

Lophodytes cucullatus
Hooded mergansers have crests that trail behind the head or can be raised to create a circular shape. Their bills are narrow and serrated. Males are black and white with chestnut flanks; females are brown.

Read more

Photograph of a male Hooded Merganser swimming

Hooded Merganser (Male)

Adult male hooded mergansers have a black head, neck, and back. The black-margined white crest and chestnut flanks of the male are very distinct.

Read more

Photo of four male hooded mergansers courting a female.

Hooded Merganser Courtship Display

Hooded merganser courtship displays are something to see! Often, several males court a single female at the same time, showing off their circular head crests, shaking their heads, throwing their heads backwards, and making their croaking calls.

Read more