Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator

– medium-sized anatid, about size of Mallard but slimmer
– diurnal migrant, probably also nocturnal
– migrates pairwise or in small to medium flocks in formation


Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, AD M
BIF1966, 01/02/2017, Darss, Martin Grimm
– slim silhouette with long neck and thin bill
– black head with red eye
– distinct white collar and dark streaked redish-brown upper breast
– white inner wing with two thin black lines, broad black leading edge and black hand -> Goosander (BIF 1630)


Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, AD M
BIF1967, 01/02/2017, Darss, Martin Grimm
– red bill slightly upcurved without hook
– flanks greyish (upper flank black with white patches)
– feet almost reach tail tip -> Goosander (BIF 1631)


Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, F AD (two left), M AD, M 2CY (right)
BIF1972, 15/03/2017, Kühlungsborn, Roland Neumann
– M 2CY head black-brown patterned, upper flanks darker than F
– upperwing pattern of 2CY M same as F with fine black line in white wing patch (usually missing in F -> Goosander)
– no contrast between hand and arm


Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, F AD (two left), M AD, M 2CY (right)
BIF1971, 15/03/2017, Kühlungsborn, Roland Neumann
same as BIF1972
– brown head of F diffusely merging into grey neck (sharp contrast in F -> Goosander)


Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, 5 M AD
BIF1973, 15/03/2017, Kühlungsborn, Roland Neumann
– at greater distance the white collar is the most striking feature


Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator, 5 M ECLIPSED
BIF1638, 23/09/2010, Baltic Sea, Germany, Mathias Putze
– like F but diagnostic M wing pattern (compare BIF1966)

voice: calls during migration not yet sound recorded

comparison species:
Goosander (v)
Common Goldeneye (v)
Common Shelduck (v)
Common Eider (v)

#waterbird #waterfowl #wildfowl

#ornithology #birdmigration #birdID #birdguide #birding #birdwatching #birdsound #westernpalearctic #europe #vismig #flightcalls #middleeast #northernafrica #workinprogress