879. Mergus serrator

Mergus serrator, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 208 (1766) ; Naum. xii. p. 333 ; Taf. 325 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 437, pl. cxix. fig. 2 ; Gould, B. of E. v. pl. 385 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. v. pl. 35 ; Dresser, vi. p. 693, pl. 453, David and Oust. Ois. Chine, p. 511 ; (Salvadori), Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxvii. p. 479 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 1206 ; (Blanf.), F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 470 ; (Ridgway), p. 89 ; Saunders, p. 473 ; Lilford, vii. p. 139, pl. 59 ; Seebohm, B. Jap., Emp. p. 258.
Harle huppe, French ; Merganso, Portug. ; Pato de sierra Span. ; Smergo minore, Ital. ; Mittlere Sager, German ; Zaagbek, Dutch ; Toppet-skallesluger, Dan. ; Siland, Norweg. ; Smaskrake, Pracka, Swed. ; Toppond, Icel. ; Vuokta-koalsi, Lapp. ; Koskelo, Finn. ; Krahal, Russ. ; Umi-aisa, Jap.
Male ad. (Finland). Head and upper neck black glossed with purple and green ; coronal and nuchal feathers much elongated ; central neck white with a narrow black line behind ; back, scapulars, and long inner secondaries black with a purple gloss ; rump and upper tail-coverts white vermicu┬Člated with black ; wing-coverts and secondaries white, the latter bordered with black on the outer web ; two black bars across the wing ; primaries and tail dark greyish brown ; lower neck and upper breast reddish brown streaked with blackish ; feathers in front of shoulder white broadly margined with black ; under parts very pale warm buff, the flanks white vermiculated with black ; bill vermilion, the edge of the mandible and nail dusky ; legs vermilion ; iris red. Culmen 2.4, wing 9.5, tail 3.1, tarsus 2.0 inch. In the summer the male resembles the female, but is larger, and the abdomen and scapulars are differently coloured. The female has the head and upper neck dull reddish brown ; chin and front of neck dull white ; upper parts dark ash with paler margins ; under parts white, the lower fore neck tinged with grey ; flanks sooty grey ; in size less than the male.
Hab. Northern Europe generally, up to the North Cape and Iceland ; breeds in Scotland and Ireland ; in winter to the Mediterranean and North Africa ; Northern Asia, in winter to Japan, China, and Northern India ; North America, breeding in the far north, and in winter ranging south to Bermuda.
In general habits it resembles the Goosander, and like that bird it is an expert diver and feeds chiefly on fish. It usually nests on the ground, but seldom in a hollow tree, its nest being composed of moss, grass, etc., intermixed with down, and in June it deposits 8 to 12 eggs, which are dull stone-buff or creamy greenish grey, and measure about 2.60 by 1.76.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
879. Mergus serrator
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Red Breasted Merganser
Red-breasted Merganser
Mergus serrator
Vol. 2
Term name: 

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