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Common Merganser

(Mergus merganser)


  • 22-27 inches (55-68 cm).
  • Weighs about 3-1/2 lb. (1.6 kg)

Distribution in North America:

range map legend

common merganser


  • Wooded lakes, shallow ponds and rivers. Rarely seen in coastal bays.
  • Eats mostly fish but will also eat crustaceans and mollusks.


  • Similar to red-breasted merganser, but lacks the prominent crest on the back of the head, and the body is whiter.
  • Female mergansers look similar to male canvasbacks and redheads, but both of those species have black chests.

Be sure to check local regulations for hunting or trapping information on this species.

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