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The Ivory Bill·Birds·Ducks & Grebes

Red-breasted Merganser, Mergus serrator

Red-breasted merganser pair on a rock in water.

Red-breasted mergansers are medium-sized diving ducks found in various regions across the Northern Hemisphere in northern parts of North America, Europe, and Asia.

Red-breasted mergansers are skilled divers and swimmers and have serrated bills that aid catching fish, their primary diet, including small schooling species like smelt, herring, and perch. They may also consume aquatic invertebrates, crustaceans, and amphibians.
Red-breasted mergansers build nests on the ground, usually concealed in dense vegetation near water bodies.
The female selects the nesting site and constructs the nest using plant materials like grasses, twigs, and leaves and lined with down feathers for insulation and comfort.

The female lays a clutch of 6-12 eggs and incubates them for around a month. Within a day or two of hatching, the female leads the ducklings to water. The ducklings can swim and feed themselves shortly after hatching. The female provides protection and guidance to the ducklings until they fledge, which occurs around 60-70 days after hatching.

During winter, Red-breasted mergansers migrate southward to seek milder climates. In North America, they can be found along the coasts of the United States, Mexico, and Central America. In Europe and Asia, they migrate to coastal regions, estuaries, and large inland lakes. Their migration patterns vary depending on the specific populations, with some individuals traveling long distances to reach their wintering grounds.