Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator))
Male Red-breasted Merganser,Musselburgh, Scotland, February 2001 - click for larger image Scotland

The Red-breasted Merganser is a member of the Sawbill group of diving ducks. The serrated edges to its long thin bill allow it to grip fish more easily. It is often to be seen with its head underwater searching for fish.

Male Red-breasted Merganser, Tyninghame, Scotland, January 2001 - click for larger image It can be confused with the Goosander Mergus merganser but the male Red-breasted Merganser has a brown breast, a black area with white spots at the side of the breast, a shaggier crest and a thinner bill.

The females are much more difficult to tell apart but the Red-breasted Merganser lacks the sharp division between the brown head and the greyish chest shown by the female Goosander.

Male and female Red-breasted Merganser, Yell, Shetland, Scotland, May 2004 - click for larger image The Red-breasted Merganser is found In North America, Europe and Asia where it breeds in lakes and small rivers to the north of the continents and winters further south and mostly at sea fairly close to the shore.

There is an illustration in HBW, Volume 1, Page 624.

Male female and juvenile Red-breasted Merganser, Mull, Scotland, June 2005 - click for larger image
Male female and juvenile Red-breasted Merganser, Mull, Scotland, June 2005 - click for larger image
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