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Common or Red-breasted Merganser in Santa Cruz, California (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I took these photos on shortly before noon on September 15, 2022 at the San Lorenzo river in Santa Cruz, California. I believe they are either Common Mergansers or Red-breasted Mergansers, but I'm not sure which. There were quite a few of them swimming in the river that day. Can anyone help me out?


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Well-known member
Look like goosander (=common) to me. Certainly the first which has a clearly white breast. All have fairly clearly defined white chins and thick bill bases.


Well-known member
Do you have more photos? - especially of less wet/bedraggled-looking birds?
I have more, but these are by far the best because they were relatively close to me. All of them were wet because they were constantly diving.

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