Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)

Mergansers are not graceful in take-off. Because they are heavy for the size of their wings, they have to run across the water to get airborne.


The common merganser breeds throughout Canada and the northern United States, except in the High Arctic. Year round populations occur on Vancouver Island and southwestern British Columbia. It winters extensively along the Pacific coast.

Breeding occurs in freshwater environments. For a complete species account, visit the Great Lakes section.