Red-breasted Merganser

Red-breasted Merganser

These handsome diving ducks belong to the sawbill family, so called because of their long, serrated bills, used for catching fish. Their diet of fish such as salmon and trout has brought them into conflict with game fishermen. At home on both fresh- and saltwater, red-breasted mergansers are most commonly seen around the UK's coastline in winter. They are gregarious, forming flocks of several hundred in the autumn.

Key ID Features:
Similar to Goosander but with slim, slightly upturned red bill and wispy crest on the males head.
Female greyer than Goosander and lacks white breast.

Overview
Scientific name: Mergus serrator
Family: Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them:
The UK breeding population is concentrated in the north-west of Scotland, England and Wales, and in parts of N Ireland. RSPB reserves with red-breasted mergansers in winter include: Morecambe Bay, Lancs; Langstone Harbour, Hants; Exe Estuary, Devon; Arne, Dorset; Snettisham and Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk; Lough Foyle, Co Londonderry; Belfast Lough, Co Antrim; Culbin Sands, Highland; Udale Bay, Highland.

Seen in UK:
UK birds start to flock on the coast from July, reaching a peak in December. Birds from N Europe also arrive in late autumn. They return to the breeding areas in March.

What they eat
Fishd.

Text (c) RSPB, used with permission
For more information click here
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer:
Tim Tapley

Red-breasted Merganser

These handsome diving ducks belong to the sawbill family, so called because of their long, serrated bills, used for catching fish. Their diet of fish such as salmon and trout has brought them into conflict with game fishermen. At home on both fresh- and saltwater, red-breasted mergansers are most commonly seen around the UK's coastline in winter. They are gregarious, forming flocks of several hundred in the autumn.

Key ID Features:
Similar to Goosander but with slim, slightly upturned red bill and wispy crest on the males head.
Female greyer than Goosander and lacks white breast.

Overview
Scientific name: Mergus serrator
Family: Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)

Where to see them:
The UK breeding population is concentrated in the north-west of Scotland, England and Wales, and in parts of N Ireland. RSPB reserves with red-breasted mergansers in winter include: Morecambe Bay, Lancs; Langstone Harbour, Hants; Exe Estuary, Devon; Arne, Dorset; Snettisham and Titchwell Marsh, Norfolk; Lough Foyle, Co Londonderry; Belfast Lough, Co Antrim; Culbin Sands, Highland; Udale Bay, Highland.

Seen in UK:
UK birds start to flock on the coast from July, reaching a peak in December. Birds from N Europe also arrive in late autumn. They return to the breeding areas in March.

What they eat
Fishd.

Text (c) RSPB, used with permission
For more information click here
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Photographer:
Tim Tapley