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Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)


These are seen in larger numbers in the wintertime in areas, which are free from ice. They are a freshwater duck but are seen frequently in harbours. They have a long sharp beak for feeding on small schooling freshwater or marine fish and invertebrates. They are a close relative and strongly resemble the Goosander. The only way to identify them correctly is by looking at the males. Male goosanders have a white breast and belly whereas the mergansers have reddish marbled belly.

Average Length: 55 cm
Average Weight: 1.1 kg
Wingspan: 78 cm
Diet: Small fish, crustaceans, invertebrates
Est. population around Iceland: No Data
Residence Period: All year round
Nesting habitat: Nests in open areas in between rocks or vegetation usually close to water
Nesting Period: Early June to Late July
Clutch size (No eggs): 8-10
Incubation time (days): 31-32
Fledging time: 60-65
Typical life span (years): No Data
Age at first breeding (years): No Data
IUCN world Status: Least concern
Major Threats: Shot by fishermen and fish farms, dam construction, habitat disturbance and destruction, hunted in Denmark and N. America and avian influenza
Other Names: Toppönd, Toppet skallesluger, Tukkakoskelo, Mittelsäger, Smergo minore, Szlachar, Serreta mediana, Middelste zaagbek, Harle huppé, Örvös bukó, Siland, Merganso-de-poupa, Småskrake