This large, thin diving duck is 20 to 25
inches long, has a wingspan of 26 to 29 inches,
and weighs 1½ to 3 pounds.
It is differentiated from other mergansers by
its extra-long, shaggy crest and white wing
patches. The male has gray sides, dark reddish
chest, white neck, and iridescent green head. The
female is dull gray with reddish head and shaggy
double crest. Both sexes have a scarlet-orange
bill and red eyes.
The red-breasted merganser breeds across
Alaska and northern Canada, as well as in
Greenland, Iceland, and across northern Eurasia.
It winters throughout much of North America, as
well as in southern Europe and China.
Found in large lakes, rivers, and the ocean,
the red-breasted prefers salt water more than any
other species of merganser.
The nest is a depression in the ground, often
placed under a boulder or in dense shrubs.
Expert "fishermen," these birds
often feed in the ocean, in nearby salt marshes,
or in river mouths. Their diet consists primarily
of fish, supplemented with crustaceans, insects,
and tadpoles. When feeding, they dip their heads
under water up to their eyes, then dive down
rapidly to catch their prey.
genus & species Mergus serrator
All About Birds http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Red-breasted_Merganser/id
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