• Incubation: 28-35 days
• Clutch Size: 6-17 eggs
• Young Fledge: 65-85 days after hatching
• Typical foods: fish and aquatic invertebrates
The male of this large merganser has a dark green head, no crest, and white on body. An adult male can be over two feet long and weigh three and a half pounds. Females resemble red-breasted mergansers, but are easily separated by the clean white throat that abruptly contrasts with the richer rusty red head coloration.
Habitat and Habits
The common merganser is one of the last to migrate south, and is more common than the red-breasted merganser on inland waters. Flocks move in a "follow the leader" style, low over the water. The only call heard from the common merganser is a startled croak.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Mating pairs form in late winter. The nest is usually placed in a tree cavity and lined with down, but it is occasionally found on the ground. The eggs are pale buff or ivory in color.