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Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser male

General Description: Red-breasted Mergansers (Mergus serrator) are sexually dimorphic pond "ducks" with a long, thin bill and a shaggy crest (every day is a bad hair day for mergansers).

In males, the head is black (iridescent green), the back is black, the neck is white, the front is reddish with black marks, and the sides are gray. The folded wings show a long, white wing patch.

Females have a rusty head, dirty gray breast, gray body, and a white wing patch.

Taxonomy: Anseriformes, Anatidae, Anatinae

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female

Favored Habitat: Large lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Red-breasted Mergansers are often found in salt water than other species of merganser.

Where to Find: Don't look for Red-breasted Mergansers around Las Vegas. Rather, look for them in the great northern forests (the taiga) during summer and along both coasts of North America during winter. A few winter in the lower Colorado River, so keep an eye out when birding at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve, Lake Mead, the Pahranagat Valley and the Overton Wildlife Management Area during winter.

Comments: These birds dive for fish, which they catch in their long, saw-tooth-edged bill.

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) If you were a tasty little fish, this might be the last face you ever see!
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser male in flight
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser male in flight
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female landing; note white wing patch
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Ding Darling NWR, Florida
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Ding Darling NWR, Florida
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female; Dunedin, Florida
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female; Dunedin, Florida
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female; Dunedin, Florida
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Hunting with face underwater looking for fish
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female; Dunedin, Florida
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female; Dunedin, Florida
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Mergansers spread out and herding fish
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Mergansers spread out and herding fish`
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Three Red-breasted Mergansers with eyes underwater herding fish
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Mergansers spread out and still pushing fish
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Mergansers herding fish into shallow water
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Everyone dives -- and the attack is on!
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Mostly underwater and shooting towards the shallows
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Enough commotion that the Little Blue is getting out of the way
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Mergs catching fish
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Great Egret getting in on the action
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Everyone is back on the surface
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
As the water calms, the mergs regroup and head out
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Mergs relaxing for a few minutes in open water
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Mergs pushing fish into shallow water again
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Four mergs on the surface and 4 under - the attack is back on
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female; Dunedin, Florida
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Red-breasted Merganser female hunting
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Merganser caught a Gulf Pipefish (Syngnathus scovelli)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Merganser trying to swallow a Gulf Pipefish
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Merganser "tenderizing" a Gulf Pipefish
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Merganser swallowing a Gulf Pipefish
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Down it goes
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Merganser off to find another Gulf Pipefish
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 120919

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