Common Merganser: Large, sleek diving duck with black upperparts and white underparts. Head and upper neck are green-black with head crest usually not visible. Long, thin bill is bright red. Wings are black with extensive white patches. Feeds on fish, mollusks, crustaceans, insects and plants.
Range and Habitat
Common Merganser: Breeds from eastern Alaska to Newfoundland on wooded rivers, ponds, and lakes. Spends winters in south as far as Mexico, mainly on large lakes and rivers, occasionally on saltwater.
Common Mergansers are the largest of the three merganser species in North America.
Gulls often follow flocks as they forage. They wait for the ducks to come to the surface with fish, and then they try to steal their prey. Occasionally a Bald Eagle will attempt this.
These large fish-eaters have serrated edges to their bills to help them grip their prey. Along with the Smew and the other Mergansers, they are often known as "sawbills."
A group of ducks has many collective nouns, including a "brace", "flush", "paddling", "raft", and "team" of ducks.