Goosander
Mergus merganser

– rather large anatid, slightly larger than Mallard
– diurnal migrant, probably also nocturnal
– migrates pairwise or in small to medium flocks in formation


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, F AD (two uppermost), 1CY
BIF1634, 14/10/2013, Wermsdorf, Germany, Mathias Putze
aging is easier in direct comparison
– JUV paler overall
– diffuser border between head and neck (similar to Red-breasted Merganser, BIF1971)
– pale lores and bill


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, F AD (centre), 1CY
BIF1636, 14/10/2013, Wermsdorf, Germany, Mathias Putze
– from this angle aging is more difficult but note sharp contrasting, whiter chin of AD


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, F probably 2CY
BIF1909, 16/05/2011, Choolbasan, Mongolia, Mathias Putze
– similar to F AD -> Red-breasted Merganser but heavier with bulkier head and neck
– sharp contrast between rusty-brown head and grey neck
– wing with pure white speculum
– dark hand contrasting to grey arm


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, M AD BREED
BIF1630, 14/01/2017, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– much bulkier head and neck than -> Red-breasted Merganser (BIF1966)
– dark red bill with distict hook
– pure white inner-wing with only narrow grey leading edge and dark hand


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, M AD BREED
BIF1631, 14/01/2017, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– black head with dark eye sharply contrasting with completely white underside -> Red-breasted Merganser (BIF1967)
– feet do not reach the tail tip


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, M AD BREED
BIF1632, 14/01/2017, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– black scapulars and grey back, same in M AD Red-breasted Merganser


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, M F AD BREED
BIF1633, 28/05/2014, Oendorchan, Mongolia, Mathias Putze


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, M F
BIF1635, 01/02/2010, Leipzig, Germany, Mathias Putze
– from below rounded tail and duck-like silhouette
– bill slender and pointed
– white secondaries


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, M F AD BREED
BIF1637, 14/01/2017, Rügen Germany, Mathias Putze
– in phases of gliding wings bent downwards (left M)


Goosander Mergus m. merganser, M AD BREED
BIF1639, 14/01/2017, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– underside of AD M can appear peachy-white


Goosander Mergus merganser, M 2CY
BIF1641, 14/01/2017, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– white on wing coverts indicate M

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
Red-breasted Merganser (v)
Common Goldeneye (v)
Common Shelduck (v)
Common Eider (v)

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