British Columbia Outdoor Wilderness Guide
Description - The male of this species has
flashing white sides, a green-black head, a white breast
and a long, thin, red bill and feet. The female's body
and sides are grey with a reddish-brown crested head and
a white throat. The call is that of low, rasping croaks.
Distribution - The breeding grounds range across Canada
from eastern Alaska to Newfoundland on wooded rivers and
ponds; they winter in the south as far as Mexico mainly
on lakes and rivers and occasionally on salt water.
Biology - The female lays 6-12 buff coloured eggs
in a down-lined hollow on the ground or in a tree cavity.
The merganser feeds on small aquatic life, insects and
water plants, diving to pursue its aquatic prey. It's
hooked upper mandible and saw-like teeth are designed
to catch slippery fish. This small, chunky duck is nearly
helpless on land.