Mergus merganser   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights:

Size: 58-72 cm.

Voice: Occasional croak, kreh-kreh, deep karr.

Habits: Gregarious, usually occurs in small flocks, feeds by diving, diurnal, an expert swimmer and diver.

Generally a black and white (male) or grey and white (female) duck with slender neck, narrow pointed red bill and red legs. Male: Head, upper neck and long crest of narrow feathers black glossed with metallic green, upper back glossy black, lower back, rump and upper tail-coverts grey, vermiculated with white, extreme upper back, lower neck and underparts white with pronounced salmon-pink tinge on underparts, tail silvery-brown. Female: Chin and throat white, head, crest and neck chestnut and cinnamon-brown, upperparts grey-brown, with blue blotches, speculum white, underparts white, flanks with grey stripes, legs and feet orange-red. Male (in eclipse): Like female, but retains white wing-coverts.

Breeding: Season, as early as late-March. Nest- in hollow and crevices in crumbling rock cliffs, lined with rubbish, and thickly with down. Eggs, 6 to 10 like those of Goosander but darker and smaller- pale buff or stone-buff, close and fine textured, fairly glossy.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Common Merganser (English)
• Goosander Merganser (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Hunting and habitat loss are the primary threats.)

Habitat:  Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Carnivorous, almost exclusively on fish.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern



Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1968) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 1 1-368pp Available at - NIO

Page last updated on:2012-08-09

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