My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Red-breasted Merganser, Mergus serrator

Note: this post, while published, is a work in progress, as are all posts in this series, My Photo Life List. My goal is to photograph every species of bird that is seen on a regular basis here in Michigan, working from a list compiled by the Michigan chapter of the Audubon Society. This will be a lifelong project, that I began in January of 2013, and as I shoot better photos of this, or any other species, I will update the post for that species with better photos when I can. While this series is not intended to be a field guide per se, my minimum standard for the photos in this series is that one has to be able to make a positive identification of the species in my photos. The information posted here is from either my observations or the Wikipedia, the online free encyclopedia, however, I have personally shot all the photos appearing in this series.

Red-breasted Merganser, Mergus serrator

I could not find very much information about this species online, other than that they are diving ducks that mainly eat small fish, but also aquatic insects, crustaceans, and frogs. I already knew that, and Wikipedia and “All About Birds” seem to be at odds with each other in respect to the breeding preferences of the red-breasted merganser. Wikipedia says that they prefer freshwater, “All About Birds” states that they prefer salt water more the other species of mergansers.

They have a spiky crest and long thin red bill with serrated edges. The male has a dark head with a green sheen, a white neck with a rusty breast, a black back, and white underparts. Adult females have a rusty head and a greyish body. The juvenile is like the female, but lacks the white collar and has a smaller white wing patch.

On to my photos:

Male red-breasted merganser shaking off the water

Male red-breasted merganser shaking off the water

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser taking flight

Male red-breasted merganser taking flight

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser taking flight

Female red-breasted merganser taking flight

Female red-breasted merganser in flight

Female red-breasted merganser in flight

Female red-breasted merganser in flight

Female red-breasted merganser in flight

Female red-breasted merganser in flight

Female red-breasted merganser in flight

Male red-breasted mergansers in flight

Male red-breasted mergansers in flight

Male red-breasted merganser in flight

Male red-breasted merganser in flight

Male red-breasted merganser landing

Male red-breasted merganser landing

Male red-breasted merganser landing

Male red-breasted merganser landing

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Female red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser

Male red-breasted merganser with a droopy crest

Male red-breasted merganser with a droopy crest

This is number 61 in my photo life list, only 289 to go!

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

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8 responses

  1. That’s a pretty bird but with a wild hairdo! I like the shot of the male landing.

    March 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    • Thank you! Every great once in a while I get lucky and the birds behave themselves well for the camera.

      March 21, 2013 at 2:18 am

  2. A style icon in anyone’s book.

    March 20, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    • Thank you Tom!

      March 21, 2013 at 2:20 am

  3. You have some fantastic captures of these crazy ducks. I love all of them showing their crazy punk hairdo. And my favorite is the male landing in the water. Love this post Jerry!

    March 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    • Thanks, did you miss Jan’s post with the coot showing off his green feet?

      March 21, 2013 at 2:22 am

  4. That punk hairdo is something else.

    March 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

    • Thanks, they are cute!

      March 21, 2013 at 2:21 am