Common merganser Mergus merganser

Identification Tips:

Adult male:

Adult female:

Similar species:

Adult male in alternate plumage is somewhat similar to male Red-breasted Merganser but has white breast and flanks, and a less obvious crest. Female, immature and eclipse male distinguished from similarly-plumaged Red-breasted Mergansers by sharply-defined chin, reddish head contrasting with white breast, paler gray plumage, sleeker crest and larger bill. In winter, Common Mergansers, unlike Red-breasted Mergansers, are generally found in freshwater habitats.

Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.