Red Breasted Merganser - Western Isles Birds - Birdlife and Bird Sightings - Isle of Harris - Isle of Lewis
Red Breasted Mergansers Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Mergansers - Red Breasted Mergansers - Hebridean Birds - Western Isles Birds.

These lovely diving ducks - belong to the sawbill family with their long serrated bills which they use to catch fish.

They are quite widespread birds in the Western Isles and throughout Scotland - sightings of these birds are commonplace - with the males often displaying to the females in the spring
        Red Breasted Merganser Info and Photos
Red Breasted Merganser -  Western Isles
Photo Gallery  - Mallard   Images
Bird Overview - Mallard
Family
Swans, ducks & Geese
Latin name
Mergus serrator

 Population
Common


Similar Species
Goosander
Description
These sawbill ducks - with their serrated bills are quite commonly seen here in the Western Isles and Scotland in general. This bird prefers salt water. The adult has a long thin orange to red-pink beak or bill with a shaggy crest on the back of its head. and white patches on the wings which you can see when in flight.

The male has a green head and crest on its head, grey sides, white neck ring, and rusty breast. The female birds are greyish, with reddish-brown head shading gradually into gray of neck. Both females and males have the crests and red bills.

The juvenile is similar to the female but has a white bar across its face. These birds have a thinner bill than the goosander.

These birds are a UK resident breeder and a winter visitor

Size
19-26" (48-66 cm). Weight 0.85kg - 1.25kg
Habitat
These birds the red breasted mergansers can be see in coastal bays, estuaries, and other protected coastal areas. They can also be seen on freshwater lochs and lakes

Food
The young red breasted mergansers eat mostly aquatic insects
Voice
These ducks have a low rolling croak or growl
Breeding
These ducks first breed at the age of two years. Pairs form in late winter and during spring migration, although some evidence of pairing may be evident in the late fall. Breeding is late in the season, and often the young do not fledge until September.

These birds nest in sheltered spots on the ground, usually near water. The nest is a simple depression lined with vegetation and down. The female lays 7 to 10 eggs, and sometimes lays eggs in the nests of other females.

Males leave when incubation begins. Incubation is by the female and lasts for 28 to 35 days. Within a day or so of hatching, the young follow the female to water where they feed themselves. Within a few weeks, the females typically abandon the young, who cannot fly until they are about two months old.


Misc. Info
Red Breasted mergansers are birds that have been claimed to be the fastest bird in level flight, reaching speeds of (80 mph),All mergansers look as if they needed to have their hair brushed.

©2014 Virtual Hebrides
Website Design and Hosting by Western Isles Web Services Ltd, Isle of Lewis Western Isles - Outer Hebrides