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.
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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