Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) photos by Larry Jordan (click to enlarge)
The Common Merganser (Mergus merganser americanus) or Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser) as it’s known in Europe, is a large, cold-hardy, fish-eating duck that nests worldwide near large lakes and rivers in northern forested habitats1.
yellow:summer, blue:winter, green:year-round
They nest in cavities, beginning in March or April, usually in trees but will also accept nest boxes with a 15cm. entrance hole. The female chooses the nest site, builds the nest, lays around 10 eggs over a two week period and incubates them for about a month. The male seldom sticks around once the female begins incubation.
The young are born precocial and leave the nest within 48 hours. After leaving the nest, ducklings swim and feed with ease. Most feeding in the first few days is by surface dabbling, but ducklings can dive within 1–2 days after leaving the nest, with “adept” diving skills in 8 days. Females often move broods downstream to larger lakes, rivers and bays from smaller streams and ponds near the nest site1.
After doing all this pretty much by themselves, the females abandon the young before they can fly, usually 30 to 50 days after they hatch. They are able to fly at 60 to 75 days old and do just fine without mom.
I believe these videos are of a group of immature Common Mergansers enjoying the day without their parents 😉
Larry Jordan was introduced to birding after moving to northern California where he was overwhelmed by the local wildlife, forcing him to buy his first field guide just to be able to identify all the species visiting his yard. Building birdhouses and putting up feeders brought the avian fauna even closer and he was hooked. Larry wanted to share his passion for birds and conservation and hatched The Birder's Report in September of 2007. His recent focus is on bringing the Western Burrowing Owl back to life in California where he also monitors several bluebird trails. He is a BirdLife Species Champion and contributes to several other conservation efforts, being the webmaster for Wintu Audubon Society and the habitat manager for the Burrowing Owl Conservation Network. He is now co-founder of a movement to create a new revenue stream for our National Wildlife Refuges with a Wildlife Conservation Stamp.
Duncan's 2015 Year List - 414
Donna's 2015 Year List - 374
Redgannet's 2015 Year List - 271
Clare M's 2015 Year List - 241
Corey's 2015 Year List - 223
Jochen's 2015 Year List - 160
Donna's 2014 Year List - 1002
Redgannet's 2014 Year List - 649
Carlos's 2014 Year List - 631
Jochen's 2014 Year List - 609
Corey's 2014 Year List - 560
Clare M's 2014 Year List - 330
Carrie's 2014 Year List - 148
Carlos's 2013 Year List - 1587
Jochen's 2013 Year List - 553
Corey's 2013 Year List - 511
Donna's 2013 Year List - 438
Duncan's 2013 Year List - 430
Clare M's 2013 Year List - 368
Redgannet's 2013 Year List - 212
Larry's 2013 Year List - 206
Redgannet's 2012 Year List - 660
Jochen's 2012 Year List - 542
Corey's 2012 Year List - 525
Felonious Jive's 2012 Year List - 404
Duncan's 2012 Year List - 402
Clare M's 2012 Year List - 300
Clare K's 2012 Year List - 040
Greg's 2012 Year List - 004