The Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) is a ‘saw bill’ diving duck. The adult Red-breasted Merganser is 51–62 cm (20–24 in) long with a 70–86 cm (28–34 in) wingspan. It has a spiky crest and long thin red bill with serrated edges. The male has a dark head with a green sheen, a white neck with a rusty breast, a black back, and white underparts. Adult females have a rusty head and a grayish body. The juvenile is like the female, but lacks the white collar and has a smaller white wing patch. [Wikipedia]
A large diving duck with a long thin bill, the Red-breasted Merganser is found in large lakes, rivers, and the ocean. It prefers salt water more than the other two species of merganser. [All About Birds]
Red-breasted Merganser Facts [All About Birds]
- The fastest duck ever recorded was a red-breasted merganser that attained a top airspeed of 100 mph while being pursued by an airplane. This eclipsed the previous speed record held by a canvasback clocked at 72 mph.
- The Red-breasted Merganser breeds farther north and winters farther south than the other American mergansers.
- The oldest recorded Red-breasted Merganser was a female, and at least 9 years, 6 months old when she was shot in Alaska, the same state where she had been banded.