Red-breasted Merganser

Mergus serrator

The Red-breasted Merganser drake has a green head with a distinctive spiky green crest. Its bill is long, narrow and red. Its eyes are red, the neck collar is white and the chest is reddish brown. It has a black back and a white belly. The hen has a brown head with a long brownish crest. Her body is gray. Red-breasted Mergansers are large in size and have a long slender appearance in flight.

Length: 23"
Weight: 2 1/2 lbs.

illustration of red-breasted merganser hen, drake, and eclipse drake

illustration of red-breasted merganser wings

These birds winter most abundantly in coastal waters, including the Gulf of Mexico, and to a lesser extent, the Great Lakes.

Their flight, strong and direct, is usually low over the water. They are difficult to distinguish in flight from the common merganser.

Red-breasted Merganser
illustration of red-breasted merganser flock pattern

illustration of red-breasted merganser in flightside view illustration of red-breasted merganser in flight

Voice: Seldom heard.