Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Alternative name: Goosander
 Similar Species
Female may be confused with female Red-breasted Merganser. Common shows a distinct division between head and chest. Crest is also less shaggy than female Red-breasted.
Breeds in Iceland and north and west Britain, throughout Scandinavia and across Northern Europe from Poland eastwards. Scattered and isolated populations in the Alps, Denmark, Germany, and furthest south of all, very small numbers breed in northern Greece at Lake Prespa. Occasionally breeds far south of normal range and has bred several times in the Czech Republic and in Ireland. Bred for the first time in the Netherlands in 1996.
Breeds across Central and northern Asia to northern China, Sakhalin and occasionally Hokkaido.
Breeds in south-east Alaska and western Canada across the forest zone of central Canada and east to Newfoundland. In the USA breeds in the north-east and around the Great Lakes, and in the west range extends south to northern California, Arizona and New Mexico.
Northernmost populations are migratory, most others resident or partial migrants, moving to coastal areas close to breeding site. In winter found in southern Britain and northern France east to Poland and in coastal Norway and Sweden. Small numbers also winter in Central Europe, the northern Mediterranean and the Black and Caspian Seas. In the Far East winters from Japan southwards and in North America winters over much of the USA except the north-central states and the Gulf Coast.
There are 3 subspecies: Nominate race breeds in Europe and northern Asia; the larger and finer-billed race comatus in Central Asia and americanus in North America which has deeper base to bill and male has dark bar across bases of median coverts.
Breeds along rivers and lakeshores in wooded areas, sometimes on moorland, on passage and in winter on large freshwaters, ofen reservoirs and gravel-pits, sometimes estuaries but rarely on the sea.
The diet includes fish, mussels, shrimp, and aquatic insects.
Listen in an external program
 External Links